Tom Hopkins coined the phrase, “What gets measured gets done”- the assumption being that you use the information you’ve measured to make better decisions or course-correct.

In sales organizations there can be an overwhelming amount of measuring being done, but little of it informing the “right next step”.

Put your spreadsheets aside for a moment and let’s apply the KISS principle to measuring the effectiveness of your sales organization.

1. Are you measuring against anything? I know my BMI, but unless I’m comparing it to what it should be, the number is useless. To understand the potential of your sales organization in its current state, you must be measuring against best-in-class sales organizations. Read more

I attended a meeting with some potential clients.  After we had danced through a series of topics about their company, their challenges and my company, I asked, “What have we not covered that might be important to you in making your decision?”

The prospect said, “Great closing question, Jane”.  I smiled to myself.  My intent wasn’t to ask a “closing question”, my intent was to gain a complete understanding of the situation from the prospect’s perspective. Read more

I have been slighted twice lately.  The first was recently on a plane. I was engrossed in a conversation with my seatmate.  Another passenger interrupted us to make an introduction to my traveling companion.  My companion said, “I’d like to introduce you to Jane”.  The passenger, said “Hello” and never once looked at me. Now, it may color the story to share with you that my seatmate was Gary Player, the golf legend, but that passenger couldn’t tell you anything about me – not even that I’m a woman! I was invisible to him. Read more

Talking about Accountability can be a slippery slope; especially in a society where no one seems to be accountable anymore. This is a critical principle because, without it, we will fail – not just individually, but collectively. The rules are changing, and in this new economic and political climate, accountability will mark the difference between companies who are solvent and companies who are just a memory. Read more

I’m Sorry, but. . .

Kevin, had a horrible week. He found out that his company was over 90 days on paying some third-party providers for a project with his largest client. The third-party companies were selected by, and considered partners of his client.  Kevin battled internally for a week to resolve the issue quickly and kept hitting roadblocks.

The perfect storm hit when the Principals from the third party companies were in a meeting with Kevin’s client and the client’s boss and complained about the experience they were having.  The client was embarrassed in front of his superior and became furious.  Read more

One of the most difficult questions to ask is, “How are we doing?” It can make us feel like we are opening the door for the client to begin complaining. And, that might happen. More often though, it is a relationship-building question. It shows a desire to help the client succeed.

It is easy to lose a client because you are out of touch with the relationship – because you mistakenly believe that if the client doesn’t complain, there are no problems.  Effective salespeople take the initiative by asking, “how are we doing?” and “what could we be doing better?” Read more

I met recently with a sales leader who asked me to help his sellers do a better job of talking with their clients about money. Money is a topic that has emotion tied to it, certainly more so than other subjects like scope, outcomes and timing. So, it is a topic widely avoided by salespeople. And yet, a seller who can successfully negotiate the “money conversation” will maintain stronger relationships with his clients. Read more

A recent Corporate Executive Board study of more than 1,400 B2B customers found that those customers completed, on average, nearly 60% of a typical purchasing decision—researching solutions, ranking options, setting requirements, benchmarking pricing, and so on—before even having a conversation with a supplier. What does that mean for the sellers who are following the old tried and true approach to the sales funnel? It means the approach is no longer true. Clients are so far along the buying process by the time we get invited to the table that sellers are being forced into more RFP pricing wars. There are four ways that sellers can change the way they approach the sales funnel. Read more

SALESFORCE PRODUCTIVITY has been one of the hot conference topics for several years. And, when they first engage me, most clients use this term to mean what you’d expect – how do I get my sellers to sell more? Often though, the easiest methods for improving productivity are in your hands. Reducing internal obstacles, improving what we used to refer to as the” sales prevention department”, is one of the fastest ways to improve your numbers.

All things being equal – you have a great brand, a great product and solid delivery – how you enable your sellers will be the differentiator in making your numbers or not. The CEB has called this ‘seller burden’ and organizations will ‘higher burden’ have at least a 12% lower conversion rate.  Here are five ways that you can pave the way for your sellers to be high performers. Read more