7 Characteristics of a Good Sales Trainer

What Sets a Good Sales Trainer Apart? Sales training is essential to an organization’s success, and it’s a powerful tool for developing the full potential of every sales rep. Not all sales training programs are created equal, however, and the success of a program is due in large part to the individual delivering it. It takes a unique personality to facilitate a sales training program in a way that is memorable and capable of lasting results. Here are 7 shared characteristics of a good sales trainer: 1. Has Walked the Walk If someone is charged with training a room full…


Read More

How to Coach Your Sales Team to Adapt to 3 Changing Market Realities

New technologies mean that the marketplace is constantly shifting, and an ever-evolving market will require your sales team to adapt quickly to keep up. Innovations are designed to make lives easier and workflows more efficient, but change is often met with resistance. The truth is that intellectually lazy salespeople will be left behind, as will sales leaders who aren’t driven to provide their team the tools to adapt and grow with the changing marketplace. Here are 3 ways the market is changing, and how to coach your sales team to adapt. Change #1: Increasing Commoditization In today’s crowded marketplace, price…


Read More

Sales Metrics: When Are You Measuring Too Much?

You can’t manage anything unless you measure it. But what happens when your measuring becomes unmanageable? Core sales metrics are important to the strategic goals of an organization, but the most valuable measurements will become watered down if they are lost in a sea of irrelevant data. How can you tell it’s time to scale back on your metrics? Here are 5 signs that you’re simply measuring too many sales metrics: 1. When You Don’t Know What to Do with the Data If you can’t really decide what to do with the data you’ve collected, you probably don’t need to…


Read More

The Evolution of Corporate Social Selling

This post comes from Kurt Shaver of The Sales Foundry. Kurt, a partner of The Brooks Group, is a premier expert on social selling and the art of positioning on LinkedIn. Kurt will be speaking at our Sales Leadership Summit August 26th – 28th in Chicago. Learn more about the program. The Evolution of Corporate Social Selling Technology adoption in corporate sales departments typically goes through three phases. The maturation of CRM systems over the past 30 years provides a classic example. Today, change moves faster. Social Selling applications like LinkedIn have gone from isolated use a couple of years ago to common…


Read More

Sales Prospecting: 6 Tips to Share with Your Sales Team

Sales Prospecting: The Key to Sales Success Regardless of whether a salesperson has been selling for 2 years or 20, having a minimum number of qualified prospects is a determining factor of sales success. While the tendency is to focus on closing a deal, it’s likely that opening opportunities is where your team is really struggling. The bottom line is, a lack in qualified opportunities equates to a lack in sales. Turn your team’s attention to activities that continually add to the top of the funnel. Keep these 6 Principles of Sales Prospecting in mind while you coach your reps…


Read More

Open-Ended Sales Questions: How to Get Your Prospect Talking

Finding Solutions with Open-Ended Sales Questions Sales isn’t about convincing someone to buy something—it’s about offering a logical solution to a problem your potential client is challenged with. Ultimately, you hope that your prospect will end up purchasing your product. Before that happens, however, you must find out everything there is to know about their problem and determine exactly what it is they need in order to solve it. How do you go about doing that? It All Starts with Listening If you’ve ever spent any time around a group of kindergarteners, you’re aware that talking is easier than listening….


Read More

The Three Most Important Questions to Ask a Prospect

Are You Asking the Most Important Questions? In a competitive sales landscape, getting a prospect on the line can feel like a win, but it’s only half the battle. The initial conversation with a potential customer is usually the most crucial. Use this opportunity to really feel out your prospect, and make sure that you’re asking the most important questions. So, what are the most important questions to ask? Here are three that you should never leave out. 1. How Is the Decision Going to Be Made? This question won’t necessarily reveal the unique needs of your potential customer, but it is…


Read More

Planning a Sales Call: How to Make Sure You’re as Prepared as Possible

Planning a Sales Call Should Be Your First Step Some of life’s greatest experiences are born from acting on off-the-cuff, impulsive decisions. But if you’re a smart salesperson, you’ll know to save these impromptu endeavors for weekends and vacations. That’s because in any professional venture, planning is important; in sales, it’s often the difference between success and failure. The most commonly overlooked, but critically important step in the sales process is a thorough pre-call plan. The more you know about the buyer in advance, the better chance you have of being perceived as a strategic resource for your prospect, and…


Read More

How Sales Reps Manipulate Their Managers

Are You Allowing Your Sales Reps to Control You? Having a grip on your sales team is a delicate balance between authority and responsibility. While it is important for Sales Managers to exhibit a certain level of control, it is also good practice to give your team a healthy amount of leeway. When executives haven’t effectively established expectations or implemented ongoing coaching, their team may begin to take advantage. Here are four ways that sales reps manipulate their managers, and what you can do to avoid it. 1. Sandbagging – Your sales rep has done pretty well this month. They…


Read More

How to Reduce Time Screening Sales Candidates

Hiring new sales reps can be a long and difficult process. First, you have to sort through piles of resumes. From there, you need to conduct endless interviews. And every step of the way, you need to wade through a barrage of unqualified, uninterested, or otherwise unsuitable candidates before finding the few that might work. If you’re searching for a way to reduce time screening sales candidates, look no further.  Here a few rules of thumb: Make Them Work Include some comprehensive and potentially time-consuming task in the initial application process: rigorous requirements for references, some information or documentation that…


Read More

How To Know When To Ignore An RFP

You did it! After all that hard work, careful planning, and well-timed pursuit, your company has managed to get a Request for Proposal from that huge prospective client you’ve been trying to land. This is it! Time to pull out all the stops and dazzle them with your proposal so that they’ll want to do business with you. Well, maybe not. Many companies send out RFPs and RFIs to firms they have no intention of working with. Someone in the company has already chosen whom they want to buy from, and the other RFPs are just to go through the motions…


Read More

How to Reengage Senior Sales Reps Who’ve Lost Their Fight

In the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, Jack Lemmon plays an aging sales rep. Once a superstar within the company, he now struggles with his pitches, can’t seem to get potential clients interested in what he has to say, and, ultimately. can’t make sales nearly as well as he used to. This problem is sadly a common issue in the real world as well. Senior sales reps who have been with the company a long time can lose their edge, just going through the motions instead of working hard to stay current with their skill set. Many times, it’s not a…


Read More

HR and Sales: The New Dynamic Duo?

Traditionally, the HR and Sales teams have always been like oil and water. They’re complete opposites, who take very different approaches to situations, often don’t see eye to eye, and can even clash at times. At least, that’s the way things used to be. As for today… could HR and Sales be at the beginning of a beautiful friendship? Different Approaches for Different Goals The reason HR and Sales are so different isn’t because they’re necessarily at odds with each other, or can’t get along. It’s just that their teams work very differently, and their responsibilities require different personality traits. Sales…


Read More

When To Fire Your Top Salesperson

The primary goal of most organizations is to drive revenue and profit. So any salesperson that knows how to do that, and do it well, is an important part of the team. True, top salespeople may give you problems sometimes, but they’re also doing exactly what you want.

It’s worth putting up with a few personality “quirks” to bring in more revenue, right? Well, not always…


Read More

5 of the Most Overused Sales Clichés

A big part of sales is about knowing what to say. That often means that when someone finds something that works, it quickly gets picked up by every other salesperson, and becomes a cliché—which makes it much less effective. And many of those clichés, even though they seemed great, were never really that effective to begin with. Here are five of the most overused sales clichés, and how they harm your sales efforts. Overused Sales Cliche #1: “To be honest with you…” At first glance, this sounds harmless enough. You’re trying to connect with your customer by speaking frankly with…


Read More

Sales Culture Shift: Should You Replace Your Entire Sales Team?

Your company is in the midst of a major sales culture shift. You’re overhauling your entire approach to how you sell your products and services and putting the focus on the customers and their experience, rather than on your company.

You’ve changed your strategy, your tactics, you’ve changed your policies, and you’ve even changed your training program. Everything is going well.

Just one question remains. Should you replace your entire sales team?


Read More

Is The Customer Experience Consistent Across Your Organization?

Customers usually buy from people that they trust and see value in. Although your sales team is the tip of the spear when it comes to finding new business, fulfilling sales promises is a responsibility that many different people at your organization have to help with.


Read More

7 Tips for Building Confidence in Sales

One of the best definitions of confidence that’s out there is “knowing what you know.” This isn’t Psychology double-talk; the definition refers to the awareness that you have to ability to successfully complete a given task. Confident people can point to a track record of success. They think like winners because they know they are, and much like any other field, top salespeople have figured out the best ways of building confidence in sales. Scientific studies have identified more than 30 traits salespeople who have discovered the keys to building confidence in sales possess. I’m going to concentrate on the 7…


Read More

The World’s Most Complete List Of Job Titles For Salespeople

The World’s Most Complete List Of Job Titles For Salespeople Lots of companies seem to struggle with job titles for their salespeople. For some reason, many seem leery of our favored, simple descriptor: “sales professional.” In a few circles people go to even greater lengths to hide their real function behind an innocuous name (think “real estate agent.”) So I set out to create a list of every euphemism I could think of. If you’ve got one of these titles, there’s a pretty good chance you’re a sales professional… Account Achievement Visionary Account Associate Account Consultant Account Executive Account Growth…


Read More

Successful Selling: 6 Ways to Improve Your Sales Listening Skills

Selling is both a talking and listening art and science. You have to be able to listen to verbal communication as well as detect non-verbal clues. During your sales presentation, there must truly be an absolute balance in communication.

The interesting thing is that the most common error in sales falls on the side of talking too much instead of listening too much.


Read More