Viewing Posts for: Dario Priolo

November 7th, 2014

How to Create a Sales Training Budget to Support Sales Skill Development

sales-training-budget

How to Create a Sales Training Budget to Support Sales Skill Development

According to a July 2014 report from Bersin by Deloitte, year-over-year change in training spending has not only recovered since the downturn, it more than doubled between 2006 and 2013 (up 7% and 15%, respectively).

With that level of investment, the exercise and process of setting next year’s budget in support of sales training and skill development presents an opportunity that should not be squandered. Don’t just take last year’s budget and add 5% or 10%. Unless you’re perfect in every way, doing more of the same will get you the same results.

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October 14th, 2014

Successful Negotiations: Why it’s Critical Not to Lose Sight of the Big Picture

Successful Negotiations: Why it’s Critical Not to Lose Sight of the Big Picture

“Are we negotiating?”

“Always.”

That succinct bit of dialogue from the 1997 movie “The Devil’s Advocate” serves as a good reminder for sales professionals to heed when selling to prospects or existing accounts. Don’t take for granted that it is a mere formality or confined to the period leading up to inking an agreement. You are constantly negotiating and should not only realize this, but practice their approach.

Negotiating is certainly about prices and fees, but also about so much more. What’s negotiable? Pretty much any aspect of a sale can be negotiated from delivery date, warranty, and payment or service terms to product features, account team, and the like. What’s important to realize is that each bit of dialogue and revelation throughout the sale process enlightens both seller and buyer alike with information that will influence this deal – or the next.

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October 7th, 2014

Insight Selling: Essential Skills for Shaping and Creating Sales Opportunities

Insight Selling: Essential Skills for Shaping and Creating Sales Opportunities

Opportunities to grow your business with a major account come in three different modes: Respond, Shape, and Create.

When you respond to an opportunity, the customer has already identified the issue, the solution, and the expected outcomes. Now, a provider is sought. This is the most reactive style of account development. The scope and budget are usually already set. Pressures on both price and competition are often high. By no means should you ignore such opportunities. Flexibility is a key element of business. You have to be able to respond as well as initiate. But, responding is not the best way to develop and grow a business relationship.

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October 1st, 2014

Why You Must View the Customer as “Them” not “It”

view-customers

Why You Must View the Customer as “Them” not “It” 

A theme we keep returning to in this blog is the idea that the most effective sale professionals focus on creating value and building trust with customers. You don’t just put your product or service in front of the public and say, “This is good. Buy it.” — however good your product or service may be. Other companies will also have good products. They will also be able to offer good services, possibly even as good as those offered by your company. We hear the term “solution” often today. It may even be overused, particularly as a fancier and quicker way of saying “product or service.”

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September 16th, 2014

Senior B2B Execs Use Social Selling Tools When Buying and Influencing

social-selling

Senior B2B Execs Use Social Selling Tools When Buying and Influencing — Are Your Sales Reps Part of the Conversation?

Don’t be fooled by age or seniority. Old dogs, who happen to be seasoned, executive-level buyers and influencers, have not only adopted social media but are using it professionally as well as personally.

A white paper from IDC (“Social Buying Meets Social Selling: How Trusted Networks Improve the Purchase Experience” by Kathleen Schaub, IDC, April 2014) provides some eye-opening statistics for skeptics regarding just how much senior executives are using social media in B2B buying and influencing. According to the paper:

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September 12th, 2014

How to Transition Your People from Taking Orders to Developing Key Accounts Strategically

developing-key-accounts

How to Transition Your People from Taking Orders to Developing Key Accounts Strategically

Without process and metrics, it is difficult to determine if your account managers are taking orders or managing key accounts strategically. It is tempting for salespeople to enjoy the easy money of fulfilling orders and avoid “rocking the boat” to push the customer to do more with you. However, that complacent behavior can backfire quickly if a key contact in an account leaves or changes positions. Forget about growth — your business in the account could evaporate instantly. You can’t take that risk. You need better insight into the account and activity.

Protecting and growing key accounts is essential to the well-being of any organization and is too important to be managed reactively. Account managers are part of a business and need to have both short-term and long-term plans for that business. An account development process provides this type of short-term and long-term planning for your large accounts. Good account plans provide checkpoints; measurable objectives that allow you to see if progress is being made. Equally important are checkpoints that let you spot and correct small problems before they become major issues. Plans often change, but they can provide a place to start.

Some organizations have specialized account managers, and others expect their salespeople to play the role of both hunter and farmer. However, planning is not typically » Continue Reading.

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September 9th, 2014

Insight Selling – How to Move Beyond an Inward Focus and a Product-based Message

Insight Selling – How to Move Beyond an Inward Focus and a Product-based Message

The Problem – Ultra Informed Buyers

Today’s buyers are savvier than ever, which makes selling to them a greater challenge for sales reps and teams. Whether they’re interested in a one-off transaction for a particular product or service, or a long-term strategic partnership, customers from companies of any size and industry can research just about anything they desire online, which puts them in a position of strength over sellers.

If your salespeople are selling the same old products the same old way, then you could very well be deep in a rut. Have you backed yourself into a corner as a commoditized order fulfillment broker rather than someone who can truly add value?

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September 5th, 2014

Why a Collaborative Approach to Account Development Creates Better Outcomes

collaborative-account-development

Why a Collaborative Approach to Account Development Creates Better Outcomes

Ask most people, “What word stands out to you in the phrase ‘Collaborative Account Development?’” Most point to the word “collaborative” — working together. In the case of sales, this is working together, with a client, to meet client needs. However, a tendency of companies is to try and sell by telling the clients what they can do for them rather than by working together as partners to build solutions.

Why should you consider adopting a more collaborative approach to working with large clients? Being collaborative allows you to differentiate your personal brand and create mutual gain for your client’s organization and for your company. As a result, you become known to your client, and within your own company, as a person who can bring real value to both organizations.

Because the business environment in which your clients operate has become more challenging, you need to increase your proficiency in identifying and meeting needs in order to have credibility as a trusted advisor, one who helps the client decide how to buy and doesn’t just sell.

In the current business environment, strong external forces are shaping how companies act and react. Globalization has changed who companies sell to, who they buy from, and where they locate operations. Fewer resources have intensified the search for value at a specific price point. People are less certain and more anxious about their jobs » Continue Reading.

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