How to Get Reps to Use CRM

Having a CRM system in place can be incredibly beneficial to staying organized and knowing where in the sales process a particular client is at any given time—but only if your sales reps are actually using it. Despite the clear advantages that CRM provides, its adoption is more often than not met with resistance by salespeople. Why? Because quite frankly it feels like more work and has traditionally only benefitted senior management, not the front line rep. The good news is that once salespeople become proficient with CRM, they will start to see the personal benefits of using the platform….


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4 Tips for Maximizing the Sales Hiring Process

Selecting the best individuals to represent your sales team is crucial to the success of your organization—that is a given. The steps it takes to find that perfect match are where many people struggle. The sales hiring process can be a long and challenging one, but its importance cannot be overstated. Grant this opportunity to grow your team the attention it deserves, and keep in mind these 4 tips for maximizing the sales hiring process: 1. Determine Exactly What the Sales Position Requires Before You Begin Your Search, Not After This seems so fundamental, yet we’ve seen many clients make…


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How to Deliver Effective In-House Sales Training

There are really 2 broad categories or ways of thinking about sales training: public sales training seminars and in-house sales training. Let’s take a look at each and break down the best ways to make the most of in-house sales training. Public sales training brings together a diverse group of individuals from various organizations and industries into one seminar and can be beneficial for networking, and for allowing participants to receive outside opinions on any issues they are dealing with. In-house sales training, on the other hand, is conducted by one company for its entire sales team. It provides an…


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Qualities of a Sales Leader

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of blog posts about the most important characteristics sales leaders demonstrate. Many of them say metrics and time in the field with customers learning about their challenges are critical. Others discuss how to coach and the need for data-driven decisions. Still more provide readers with tips and tricks for getting sales teams to take action toward desired outcomes. All of those things are important. And they all miss the point. You see, the most important quality any sales leader can exhibit is Awareness: Awareness of self, of the people they work with, and of the…


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Sales Incentives: What Works and What Doesn’t?

The driving motivators behind performance can vary greatly from one individual to the next, but there are some groups who are generally fueled by the same set of rewards. Competitive by nature, salespeople will be intrinsically motivated to climb to the number one position. By adding in a few carefully selected sales incentives, you can capitalize on this competitive streak and really get your team to race full speed towards sales goals. Finding the right rewards can be challenging, and that is because even in their likeness, all salespeople will be motivated in slightly different ways. Sales incentives can be…


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6 Signs You May Need to Rethink Your Sales Strategy

Sometimes admitting when we are headed in the wrong direction can be difficult. But doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is a waste of time and resources (some might even call it insane). Learn to recognize when your sales team has veered off the path, and consider tweaking your sales strategy to get them headed back in the right direction. Here are 6 signs that you may need to rethink your sales strategy: 1. Your Sales and Marketing Departments Are Not Aligned There’s nothing more frustrating than expecting one thing, and getting another….


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The Simplest Way to Get Your Team to Change Its Behavior

Changing salespeople’s behavior is hard. Especially when your desire for change competes with the desire your team may have not to change. It’s impossible to force another person to do anything. Ultimately, if someone on your team does something you want them to do, it’s their choice to do so. So, the question becomes: How can we create conditions that align their choice with your desired outcomes? The answer? It’s about creating an environment that makes your choice, their choice. Here at The Brooks Group, we’re firm believers in Albert Einstein’s admonition to “make things as simple as possible without…


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5 Principles for Establishing Expectations in Your Sales Organization

While every member of your sales team is independently responsible for their own behavior, it is up to you as the Sales Manager to coach them to greatness. To lead by example is good practice as a mentor, but in order to create a culture of accountability within your team, you must establish expectations early on and enforce them on a continual basis. The specific expectations that you set will vary depending on the unique needs of your organization, but all will fall into one of these 3 categories: Minimum Performance Standards Administrative and Housekeeping Compliance Personal Development As you…


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6 Practical Tips for Protecting Profit Margin

Competing with lower-priced competition is a reality that’s only going to become more prevalent as the global marketplace continues to expand. In order to maintain a healthy profit margin, you must reinforce the importance of value within your sales culture. Ensure that your salespeople are equipped to deal with buyers’ attempts to commoditize your products in an effort to the get the lowest price possible. Keep in mind these 6 tips for protecting profit margin: 1. Only hire salespeople who truly believe in the value of your product When a sales rep is genuinely passionate about the product they are…


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The World’s Longest List of Sales Interview Questions

The single biggest challenge in hiring salespeople is one that is both logical and emotional in nature. The logical part of the challenge is that having someone in place is better than having no one at all. This is a false position to take, however, when you take a look at what a bad sales hire can cost you: Wasted leads and lost opportunities Customer and prospect alienation Loss of goodwill in the marketplace Poor image and reputation Morale problems caused for other salespeople Lost time and energy in hiring, training and retaining Delivery and customer service problems Picking up…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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….


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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…


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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…


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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…


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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…


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