Viewing Posts for: David Plumb

November 3rd, 2015

Sales Tips and Techniques: Getting in the Door to Sell in Today’s Environment

sales tips

Five Quick Sales Tips to Sell More Effectively

In Part I  of this series, I talked about the changing sales environment and how more buyers are buying than being sold. In Part II , my focus turned to the need for salespeople to dig deep into buying motives to establish credibility and provide new ideas and insights to buyers. Now, it’s time to turn to some sales tips and techniques for selling in today’s environment.

I don’t want to say that cold calling is dead, but it certainly has changed dramatically. Salespeople used to be able to call a prospect who had never before expressed an interest and get a few minutes of their time. Sometimes, they could just show up at their office and gain entrance. That rarely happens today.

Since the advent of Caller ID, it’s never been easier to ignore incoming phone calls. Salespeople are then left with the question: Do I leave a message or just hang up? Even leaving a voice mail is little guarantee of a call back, so many don’t even bother. I used to get 50 voice mails a day; now I don’t even get 50 a month.

The secret to getting in the door is to find a hook that resonates with the prospect. Here are some more sales tips and techniques that may help.

Cultivate your network. Salespeople need to have an ecosystem in place to build and leverage » Continue Reading.

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October 29th, 2015

Sales Preparation: Learn so much about your buyers that you’re almost sliding into their shoes

sales preparation

In Part I of this series, I talked about the changing sales environment and how more buyers are buying than being sold. As a result, salespeople need to dig deep into buying motives to establish credibility and provide new ideas and insights to buyers.

One of the techniques that I used in my 30-year career in sales, including 15 years as a senior vice president of sales in the IT services industry, was to conduct a targeted dialogue with buyers. I would start by asking them to tell me about their top ten customers:

What are the common themes among their largest customers? Why do their customers continue to buy from them? Is it because of long-standing relationships, customer service, speed to market, or any other specific advantage? On the negative side, what about the top ten customers that left to go with a competitor? Are there any common themes among those who are gone?

Even though most buyers could not give good answers about their customers, I was able to gain credibility and position myself as a business partner who could provide value.

For me, it’s all about research and sales preparation before meeting with buyers. First, you have to know where they’re coming from, what’s going on with their company, who their competitors are, what markets they’re actively going after, and what the common problems are associated with these markets. You have to learn so much about » Continue Reading.

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October 27th, 2015

More buyers are buying than being sold, so dig deep into buying motives

buyer-motives

In every sales training class that I facilitate, I start by telling participants that they may consider my background either lucky or unfortunate for them. That’s because I’m not a “professional” trainer. What I am is a professional salesperson, with 30 years of experience under my belt. The last 15 of those years were spent as a senior vice president of sales in the IT services industry.

With this background, I have witnessed just about every sales scenario imaginable. And because I was responsible for premier accounts — those that billed in the top 40 — I developed an expert ability to deal with large, complex sales with long buying cycles.

During my career, I have also witnessed dramatic changes in B2B selling, as the availability of information has created more sophisticated and informed buyers. In my sales days, customers relied on me to provide them with information. Now, customers want salespeople to validate information that they’ve discovered on their own.

The way I describe today’s selling environment is that “more buyers are buying than being sold.” We have all seen these numbers previously, but they are worth communicating again. According to SiriusDecisions, buyers now digitally complete 67% of their decision processes before ever contacting a salesperson. Forrester Research goes even further, citing that 60% to 90% of the buyer’s journey occurs before he/she ever engages a potential provider.

Another important change is the number of people involved » Continue Reading.

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