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Are You Looking to Hire Sales Agents? Be Prepar...

You should be prepared for any or all of these questions from sales agents when you approach them for the first time. If you have never dealt with agents before and they are experienced then they will most likely have more questions for you than you will have for them. Preparation is the key. The [] read more »

Quick Sales Management Tip: Inputs & Outputs

Remember, your sales representatives have to start a sale in order to close a sale. If we manage their inputs, we will receive better outputs. More quick sales management tips here. Aim Higher! Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Coach and Author of Action Plan For Sales Success and Action Plan For Sales Management Success B2B [] read more »

How Much Will It Cost to Recruit a Sales Agent?

The first question that is most often asked by company executives looking to establish a sales agent channel is, how much will it cost? As usual the answer is that depends. Before you grab some number out of the blue you need to research the facts. What are your projected sales for the territory? How [] read more »

Looking For Sales Agents? You Need A Value Prop...

A company which has historically used a direct sales channel to sell its products or services often fails when they institute a sales agent channel strategy in an effort to grow their customer base. This move, while well intentioned, often has disastrous results for both the organization and the would-be sales channel partners. The problem [] read more »

8 Reasons Why Independent Sales Agents Will Hel...

Working with independent sales agents instead of full time direct sales people has a number of benefits for your company. While there are endless opportunities I have laid out a list of the most common reasons companies establish alternate sales channels using agents. Fixed costs: No salary, limited travel costs, no benefits Existing relationship: Agents [] read more »

Delegation – A Key Skill for Sales Managers!

Most would say that the best test of a sales manager’s abilities, or any manager for that matter, is what happens if he or she is no longer there. In other words, if you were to leave the organization tomorrow, could your sales team carry on and still produce at the sales level they are [] read more »

Is It Time To Hire My First Sales Person?

Author and Sales Trainer, Tom Hopkins contends that “the majority of small businesses fail in their first five years, not because of the product or service, not because of poor accounting practices, but from lack of sales.” I regularly meet with business owners who have created a great niche business manufacturing an innovative new product [] read more »

Using a CRM System Should Not Be a Sales Rep’s ...

A sales rep knocked on my door the other night. He was the third rep from the same company to knock on my door in the last few months. The first question I asked was, “Have you solved the technical problem I asked the two previous sales reps from your company who knocked on my [] read more »

Looking for Fast Sales Growth in New Territorie...

You have a great new product but you don’t have the budget or management support that will be required to hire, train and manage your own sales force. Instead you decide to hire independent sales agents. After all, the product ALMOST sells itself. All you have to do is give your sales agents a price list, assign [] read more »

Sales Incentive Contest? The Size of the Prize ...

There is no prize too outrageous or too expensive to offer in a sales incentive contest. You just have to make sure that you set the qualification bar high enough to make sure you realize your desired profit net of all variable expenses, including the cost of goods, sales commissions and the incentive prize. Aim [] read more »

Are You Prepared For Life’s Curve Balls?

If you have been a B2B Sales Connections blog or email newsletter subscriber for a while, you will know that we used to practice a very predictable schedule for publication. You may also have noticed that we have been pretty quiet on that front lately. The reason for that is life unexpectedly threw me a [] read more »

SALES MANAGEMENT

Selling is done by the salesforce either directly to customers, such as in case of industrial salesmen or to retailers, as in case of salesmen merely supplying shopkeepers and inducing them to stock the goods.   In both cases, the effort of the salesmen contributes to the overall sales turnover of an organisation. The advertising effort and the sales effort are to a certain extent read more »

If Given The Right Training, Can Anyone Sell?

According to the book How to Hire Develop Your Next Tip Performer The Five Qualities That Make Sales People Great by Herb Greenberg, Harold Weinstein and Patrick Sweeney, no, everyone cant sell, and some should even give up trying! According to their research: 55% of people earning a living in sales should be [...] read more »

When Management Does More Harm Than Good

I recently had a very unpleasant experience as a customer. When I started to think about the root cause of the issue, it turns out it the real fault rested solely on the shoulders of the manager I was dealing with. Why? Because he one of those managers who only did for, not showed how. [...] read more »

Better the Coach, Better the Sales Manager!

Selling has been compared to sports for years. So much so, that sales people have even often been called the elite athletes of the business world. The reason for the comparison probably stems from the fact that both professions are performance based, and that the incomes earned in each are in direct proportion to the [...] read more »

Effectively Manage Existing Accounts and Measur...

Written and published courtesy of The Chapman Group INCREASE SALES REVENUE NOW Effectively Manage Existing Accounts and Measure the Voice of Your Customer Finally, existing customers have been identified as the most important foundational pillar for business sustainability, and rightly so! It is the customer who can fire anyone, at any time, by taking [...] read more »

Are Recruiting Events Worth The Time & Money?

Here is another question and answer from my interiew with www.business.com. Business.com: Recruiting events can put plenty of qualified, pre-screened candidates in front of you in a short period of time. But attending these events can be expensive. Do you think these events are worth it, say, for a smaller business, or are they a [...] read more »

A Packed Prospect Now Means Your Sales Team Wil...

It may seem a little early to talk about the summer months, but as a sales manager you have to look that far ahead. Business can really slow down in the summer, and if your sales team does not have enough prospects in their funnel today, it can be a very difficult to make your [...] read more »

B2B Sales Connections LinkedIn Group Reaches 80...

Were celebrating a milestone.  The B2B Sales Connections LinkedIn Group just passed the 8,000 member mark and we are growing fast!  We hit 7,000 just two months ago.  This really shows the power of social media when people are engaged with relevant and topical discussions about sales and sales management. Here is a quick recap of the [...] read more »

Turn Product Training Into Sales Training!

Does your sales team really need to memorize your product’s technical specs? Think about it. When was the last time you bought a car based on information like how many gallons fit in the gas tank or the thickness of the rubber used in the windshield washer blades? It is far better for your sales [...] read more »

Can Better Recruiting Reduce Sales Staff Turnover?

Here is another question and answer from my interiew with business.com. Business.com: How can your interviewing, hiring, and training practices help reduce churn in your sales team?. Susan: Turnover in your sales team happens when there is no longer a fit between the employer and employee. The relationship is no longer a win-win, and therefore [...] read more »

6 Reasons to Out-Source Your Sales Management i...

If you are the owner of a small to midsized business (SMB) and you don’t have time each and every week to coach, train and manage a salesperson or a sales team, then you should have someone with the right experience and training do it for you. You don’t need to hire a high cost [...] read more »

Do You Have A 90 Day Sales Rep Success Plan?

Fortune 500 companies have a structured On Boarding Process which every new sales person follows. The plan lays out detailed time lines and benchmarks, specific action items and goals. This formal process is great for both the company and the new representative because it leaves nothing to interpretation and establishes shared expectations. The initial training [...] read more »

Coaching – A Critical Element of Sales Performa...

Most sales managers would agree that coaching their sales teams is key job function contributing to their success. However, when it comes to actually defining what the term “coaching” means, how best to do it,  and what are its affects in the long term, each sales manager would probably have a different opinion. What is [...] read more »

Fire Quickly / Hire Slowly

Published courtesy of the author of 52 Sales Management Tips The Sales Managers Success Guide, Steven Rosen Many sales managers think they can save poor performing sales reps. They invest time and energy and usually end up frustrated and over worked. If a sales rep cant show marked improvement in 30 days then you [...] read more »

A Balanced Score Card Approach to Hiring Sales ...

When hiring your next sales representative, keep in mind that the candidate who has the best interview and the best personality may not be the best sales person to sell what you want sold. As such, you need a balanced score card approach to hiring. Define your ideal sales candidate before you start interviewing and [...] read more »

Book Review – Predictable Revenue

Did you know that business people who read at least 7 business books a year earn over 2.3 times more than people who read only one book per year? Think you don’t have time to spend on your own ongoing personal development? Did you know that if you spend just 10 minutes a day reading, [...] read more »

What Motivates Sales People?

A wise and extremely successful sales manager once said to me, sales people work as much for recognition as they do for income.  When is the last time you publically recognized and thanked a member of your sales team? As John F. Kennedy once said, As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that [...] read more »

Don’t Waste Your Team’s Selling Time!

Do you always have to wait for a few stragglers to show up before you can start your sales meetings? Do you know you may be causing the problem in the first place? Nothing rewards tardy behavior more than making those who showed up on time wait for those who are late. When the meeting [...] read more »

Should You Hire Your Next Sales Rep From Your C...

Hiring from within the industry may sound like a great idea, but make sure you think twice before doing so.   Ask yourself why the sales rep would want to move to you company in the first place.   If they are not successful at your competitor, can they really be successful with your organization? Although industry [...] read more »

Sales People Need A New Definition of Failure –...

Based on an interview I saw with Sara Bakely, the founder of Spanx and Americas youngest female billionaire, I wrote a blog post recently stating that I thought sales people need a new definition of failure. The article received such positive feedback that I thought I would take it one step further into sales management. [...] read more »

Joint Field Work Should Be Show How, Not Do For

The problem most sales managers have when doing joint field work is they end up taking over the call completely. Some even forget the sales person is in the room! Taking over a sales call does nothing to train or develop the sales representative. The real purpose of doing joint field work today is so [...] read more »

A Happy Sales Team Is A More Productive Sales T...

Sometimes as managers, we get so caught up in the day to day drive for sales that we forget the human side of our jobs. We forget that our sales teams are made up of human beings with their own mortgage payments, kids soccor games, and not enough time in the day stresses. In other [...] read more »

A Different Way To Deliver Product Training

Product knowledge is critical for a sales representatives success.  After all, every sales representative must understand the product or service they are selling, otherwise they couldnt sell it. The mistake most sales managers make however, is they conduct long product knowledge sessions, sometimes lasting for days, and all the time is spent memorizing features and [...] read more »

The Best Marketing Automation Tools for B2B Lea...

Although there are many out there who promise they have found it, there really is no magic bullet for lead generation.  When you get right down to it, the best marketing automation tools are the ones that put you in the right place at the right time, that being when the prospect is most likely [...] read more »

How Should B2B Sales Managers Assign Sales Terr...

Great question!  In fact, this subject has been debated among sales managers for years, and will continue to be for many years to come.  The reason is that there are as many ways to distribute B2B sales assignments as there are sales managers! The best way to distribute your b2b sales assignments is situation specific.  [...] read more »

Is It Time to Fire Your Non Producing Sales Rep?

Many sales managers often ask themselves what they should do with their non producing sales respresentatives.  Is it time to sever the employer employee relationship and let them go? To answer that question you first need to ask yourself if the non performing sales rep knows what needs to be done to be successful.  [...] read more »

Your Sales Team’s Attitude Heightens Their Alti...

One of the greatest gifts my sales mentor ever gave me was the belief in myself that I could be successful.  I can still hear John’s Scottish accent ringing in my ear saying, “Once you have done it once, no one can tell you that you can’t do it again!”  As he coached our sales [...] read more »

Does Your Potential Sales Recruit Have A Track ...

Any potential sales representative can say they are a quota buster or a top performer in an interview.  In reality however, descriptive phrases such as these dont mean much to you as a sales recruiter unless there is some quantitative proof behind it.  A question that can help you determine if the candidate actually has a successful sales track record is, [...] read more »

The Selling Year Is Almost Over!

When you look at the calendar at this time of the year, you start to realize that the selling year is almost over.  In fact, when you take out the holidays, there are only about 45 selling days left in the year.  That is not a lot of time left for your team to qualify for [...] read more »

Checking References

Even if you think you have just interviewed your perfect sales candidate and are ready to make an offer of employment, you still should make every effort, by whatever means possible, to ensure that they are who they say they are by conducting thorough reference check. Just like your candidate interviews, you need to ask [...] read more »

Life Threw a Curve Ball…And Now We’re in Business!

Life Threw a Curve Ball…And Now We’re in Business! Here is my interview with Bizoomi.com, a great website for small business! http://bizoomi.com/2010/08/02/3028/ Aim Higher! Susan A. Enns, B2B Sales Connections www.b2bsalesconnections.com, www.linkedin.com/in/susanenns, or www.twitter.com/susanenns read more »

What You Must Do Immediately When An Employee L...

I have been trying to track down a billing issue with a company for over a month.  After sending yet another follow up email to my account manager today, I finally received a response.  It started out by saying “So-and-So is no longer with our company…”  The first thing that crossed my mind was how [...] read more »

Everyone Always Late For Your Sales Meetings?

Do you always have to wait for a few stragglers to show up before you can start your sales meetings? The key to fixing this problem is to start your meetings on time, every time, no matter what. Nothing rewards tardy behavior more than making those who showed up on time wait for those who [...] read more »

Do You Know Your Minimum Selling Price?

Experience has shown no matter where you set your minimum selling price, a sales representative sooner or later will ask you to lower it.  The question is not whether you will be asked permission to discount; the question is when should you say yes. One of the best examples of this is highlighted in an [...] read more »

Stop Memorizing Technical Specs!

Does your team really need to memorize your product’s technical specs?  It is far better for them to know how the spec relates to a customer benefit than the spec itself.  For example, stating that a machine operates at 60 cycles per minute is just useless trivia unless the customer has identified the need and [...] read more »

Book Review – How To Hire & Develop Your Next T...

Did you know that business people who read at least 7 business books a year earn over 2.3 times more than people who read only one book per year?  Think you don’t have time to spend on your own ongoing personal development? Did you know that if you spend just 10 minutes a day reading, [...] read more »

Productive Joint Field Work – A 5 Step Process

Joint field work is where you and your representative make sales calls together.  The sales representatives benefit and learn from your knowledge and experience, yet they are still are not working without a net, so to speak. The problem most sales managers have when doing joint field work is they end up taking over the call [...] read more »

Does Your Team Hate Sales Reports?

Do you require your sales reps to submit sales reports?  Do they like doing it?  Probably not.  Thats because they probably think your sales reports are nothing more than a policing action.  In reality, you want them to think of sales reports as a GPS navigation system to help them get to where they want to [...] read more »

How To Choose A Sales Training Program

Whether you are a corporate sales executive needing to increase company revenues, a sales manager wanting to improve your team’s results, or a sales professional looking to invest in your own self improvement, you need to evaluate any sales or sales management training course properly before buying it.  All courses are not created equal and [...] read more »




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