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Don’t Get Caught in a Sales Crime Wave p.62 How to Set Realistic Goals p.32 Be Prepared p.58
July/August 2009 • $5.00
A (secret)
formula that can
work under any conditions
JULY/AUGUST 2009 • VOL. 29 NO. 6
It has over eight million references.
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J U LY / A U G U S T
2 0 0 9
2 9
“We know that
successful people
have certain
personality traits.”
54 Exceed Expectations
A (secret) formula that can work under any conditions
58 Protect Your Flanks
How to be sure you’re safe after a sales rep leaves
62 Crime Wave
How to make sure your sales team isn’t engaging in risky
sales behavior that could bring your job [and your company]
to a screeching halt
“Managers should
avoid ‘losing it’
and firing a salesperson on the spur
of the moment.”
J U LY / A U G U S T
2 0 0 9
2 9
video page
train your sales team
12 What’s on Selling Power TV
47 Well Worth the Price
new solutions for
Selling Value
Robert Nadeau explains how to defend
your price during hard times
Business Plan for Vets
selling essentials
67 Business Development: Free
CRM: Voice-Enabled Mobile
15 Nurture Your Leads
Productivity • Turn Cold Calling into
Power Selling • Access Your PC from
the Road
How to increase sales by tending to
your lead garden
18 The Sky’s Not Limited
Fleet: Company Road Promo •
OnStar Helps Managers, Too
How to network successfully anywhere –
even in the air
Incentives: Company Policies for
23 Selling Tips
Air-Transport Incentives in 2009
• The Coaching Edge
• Commit to “Precommit”
• Political Wisdom
• Outserving and Outsolving
• A New You
• Foot-in-Mouth Disease
• How to Handle Chiselers
• Be Willing to Walk Away
Leads: Very Flexible Solutions •
A Full Suite
Revenues: Add Value, Increase
“Your sales team
receives fresh,
complete insights
into your prospects’
sales readiness.”
28 The Science of Cold Calling
A new study suggests timing
determines cold-calling success
32 The Finish Line
How to set goals that motivate,
not demoralize
36 Good Deeds
How companies and sales professionals
are making a positive impact in the
lives of others
Profits • Frontline Forces Are Your
Profit Producers
10 Editorial
Rewarding Daydreams
72 Advertising Index
74 Thoughts to Sell By
p. 69
Editorial contributions must be submitted by mail (not fax or email) and accompanied by return postage. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return or safety of unsolicited art, photos, manuscripts, books or audio- or videocassettes. Selling Power® (ISSN
1093-2216) is published ten times per year: January/February, March, April, May, June, July/August, September, October, November/December, Sourcebook, by Personal Selling Power Inc., PO Box 5467, Fredericksburg, VA 22403. Copyright © 2009 by
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not be reproduced in any form without written permission. Requests for permission must be made by mail in writing, must include a self-addressed stamped envelope and should be mailed to: Reprints and Permissions, Selling Power®, PO Box
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Gerhard Gschwandtner
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: L B Gschwandtner
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If you want better sales results,
we can drive them in cool and
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To see what we mean – and learn
more about our solutions – Friend us on
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on Twitter, and you can find us at
Or you can always do it the old-fashioned
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Heck, if you want, we’ll even go to the
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Whatever it takes to communicate,
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Phone: 1-800-752-7355 • Fax: 540/752-7001
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Rewarding Daydreams
During a VIP dinner at our last Sales Leadership Conference in
Chicago, I asked senior sales leaders what they have done to
reward themselves and find relief from the stress caused by
tough economic challenges. One executive revealed that he
has treated himself to classical guitar lessons. As a child he
dreamed of learning the instrument but never found the
time to act on his dream. His journey into the world of artistic expression has opened his mind to a state of bliss that he is
able to apply to his business, which enhances his performance. He explained how the serenity of music helps him
stay calmer during days filled with chaos.
While some reluctantly admitted that stress has eroded
their personal productivity, others carve out time to play and
spend more time with family. One VP of sales rewards himself by going to the gym more often while traveling. He said,
“It gives me the energy I need to drive business forward. In a
sluggish economy, I can’t afford a sluggish body.”
One of the most interesting ideas for rewarding oneself came
from a sales executive who decided to spend more time daydreaming. He realized that we live in a culture obsessed with
efficiency, where we fill every waking moment with work. He
cited a recent article that explained how daydreaming can lead
to epiphanies, valuable insights, and creative problem solving.
I did some research and discovered that daydreams can turn
into a powerful achievement tool. While daydreaming is not recommended while we’re engaged in conversation, for example,
it pays to let the conscious mind shift into neutral. Many scientists argue that daydreaming has a purpose; it is a productive,
cognitive event that plays a critical role in creativity.
Albert Einstein found that when he allowed himself to disengage from the confines of disciplined study, his thoughts
became unbounded, which helped him refine the Theory of
Relativity. Such successful actors as Harvey Keitel and Meg
Ryan have incorporated dream work into their careers, which
allows them to perform with greater authenticity.
Meg Ryan once said that inspiration doesn’t always come
from the outside; it can come from going inside our minds. The
French filmmaker Louis Malle once described how he engaged
in a series of daydreams that led him to create a script for a new
movie. Such creative business leaders as Sir Richard Branson
daydream in order to leapfrog their daily preoccupations and
create mental bridges to new possibilities.
It appears that daydreaming is a great way of rewarding ourselves with a break from the rational world. It allows our brain to
explore its inner landscape and return with new insights that can
lead us to greater success. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
suggested, “Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the
waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.”
gerhard gschwandtner, publisher
email: [email protected]
Twitter: gerhard20
For more information, visit
Julie Thomas, CEO, Value Vision Associates
also online:
Jon Dessel, CEO, ITIQ Solutions
Julie Thomas, author of Value Selling, says that
companies only make changes when they see a good
reason for them. Accordingly, reps need to keep an
eye out for incentives for change – streamlining
management, growing into new markets, or containing
costs. Once the rep uncovers that reason for change,
he or she is better positioned to relate to the challenges
the customer faces.
SEARCH: thomas
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headaches of too much paperwork: DocQ-Smart. It
lets you collect live and encrypted signatures, store
and maintain contracts, and transmit transactions
in real time. SEARCH: dessel
Mark Sellers, Author, The Funnel Principle
Proposals, demos, and presentations mean nothing unless you’re chasing realistic commitments.
Mark Sellers explains how reversing the funnel to
focus on the buyer helps reps identify viable
opportunities up front. SEARCH: sellers
Michael Norton, Founder, CanDoGo
Selling in a tough economy leads to high pressure,
high stress, and high burnout. Michael Norton
shares tools for keeping reps motivated in both the
long and short term. SEARCH: norton
Howard Stevens, CEO, HR Chally
Howard Stevens’s advice for recruiting a terrific team
includes switching up your hiring strategy. “Find the
right people, get them on the bus, and then determine what seat they should take, what role they
should play.” SEARCH: stevens
Sales Performance
Brian Hartlen, Vice President of
Marketing, Varicent
Sales-performance management
is not just about increasing
efficiency – it’s also about using
data to improve effectiveness.
Brian Hartlen says that companies
benefit from sales performance
management systems when they
tie together management, compensation, and performance data.
“The focus is now on sales
compensation and driving the
right behavior at the right time.”
SEARCH: hartlen
E-learning with Sales Buzz
Michael Pedone, CEO and
Founder, Sales Buzz
Having owned companies and
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and says that the reason most
people struggle with it is because
they’re rushing past the steps
necessary to seal the deal. Here
he discusses his online training
course, which teaches techniques
for selling over the phone.
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“You cannot just
flip on technology,
you must build a
process around it.”
Nurture Your
Although many companies have gotten
better at nurturing their leads, there is still
room for effective and profitable improvement, according to Ian Michiels, a practice
leader with the Aberdeen Group. Of more
than 200 firms surveyed by Aberdeen, the
best-in-class nurturers were consistently
better at increasing both qualified leads
and annual revenue.
“They are getting better,” Michiels says.
He attributes part of the improvement to
better lead-management technologies, such
as those provided by Eloqua and Vtrenz.
“But you cannot just flip on technology, you
must build a process around it.”
The other reason for improvement is that
CEOs and chief marketing officers saw so
many leads going to waste and asked what
they were getting out of marketing. Typically, only 16 percent of leads close quickly,
so the key is nurturing the other 84 percent.
Michiels says the ultimate wastage, which
once stood at 60 percent, is now down to
28 percent, so follow-up practices have obviously improved.
Significant progress can be made in as
short a period as three months, but that is
usually just the beginning of a solid nurturing strategy. “Put something in place,
see if it works, and then do the rest in
steps,” Michiels advises. Some firms
choose less robust lead-management soft-
How to increase sales by
tending to your lead garden
The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. – Jacob Bronowski
ware at first, thinking they will not need
advanced features, but then discover they
want better functions later on.
Apart from using the right software, the
best lead nurturers make important process
changes, too. Sales and marketing departments collaborate in defining leads. “That is
the key,” Michiels says. “And it will not just
happen; it takes the CEO to make these
two departments work together.”
Communication and accountability are
essential components of collaboration
between sales and marketing. Often a special lead administrator will sit between the
sales and marketing departments or report
directly to marketing and indirectly to
sales. To reinforce the collaboration, bestin-class companies allow salespeople to
send qualified leads back to marketing.
The top firms have a detailed strategy
for lead nurturing, including phoning, faxing, and emailing contacts. Less common
but very effective strategies are event triggers for contacts. “These are different
from sending something after a few
weeks,” Michiels explains.
Unfortunately, many firms outside the
financial sector still lack the tools to send
specific messages when prospects click on
specific Website options. Michiels estimates
that only two or three vendors provide excellent tools for enabling these triggered messages. “This is a nice-to-have item right now,
but in five years you will see much more
of it, not just for obtaining new customers
but for up-selling current customers.” An
automated lead-scoring system is essential. This system uses the definition given
by sales to marketing to both qualify leads
and assign a priority score to each lead.
To truly nurture leads, marketing materials should be tied to steps in the buying
cycle, not to steps in the selling cycle. “Don’t
shoot promotions out; touch prospects with
value,” Michiels urges. “Initially you want to
be top-of-mind and a thought leader and
help them with the knowledge they need to
ask questions. Later will come the time to
send promotions and calls to action.”
The best companies allow salespeople to
enter leads into the program. Their software directs salespeople, through Web
links, to customized Web pages to help
qualify leads. The best companies use listmanagement software to centralize all contact information, including email and
mailing addresses, and they ensure that
this data is always valid. Emailed marketing
messages are essential in any nurturing
program, partly because they are low-cost.
But Michiels says too many firms still keep
their email data in a separate database.
The best companies are starting to use
customer and feedback tools more cleverly. “It is one of the growing areas,”
Michiels says. “Lots of firms say they do it,
but they do it manually and by random
emails. It should be built into the system.”
And the top firms are constantly measuring the performance of their lead-nurturing programs. Michiels recommends
the use of metrics contained in lead-management software, partly for consistency:
“If you measure performance using Excel,
the person in the next office might do it
differently. With vendor tools, you at least
use a consistent definition so you can see
if performance is improving.”
Solid lead software will track cost per
qualified lead and per closed lead. It will
show the close ratio on nurtured leads and
the lead-to-sales ratio. And this software
will automatically remove dead leads when
the time is right. All firms now remove
leads at least manually, in part to comply
These companies have got your number:
Dow Jones/Factiva
First Research
Good Leads
Harris InfoSource
Lead Dogs, The
LeadLife Solutions
Spoke Software
TimeTrade Systems
Walter Karl
with anti-spamming laws. Michiels says an
effective approach is to automate removals
to fall in line with the buying cycle in each
market. “For complex products with lots of
decision makers, that could be twelve
months. If you scrub too early, you do not
know what your nurturing program is
achieving. You might get a trickle of customers over the next three to nine months.”
Lead nurturing will improve dramatically over the next three years, according to
the Aberdeen consultant. Many firms are
now integrating it with their CRM systems. Michiels believes that makes a lot of
sense. “It makes CRM a tool for sales reps,
helping them manage the pipeline, so
CRM is not just a management tool.”
Silverpop’s Vtrenz application is now used
by about 350 B2B sales and marketing organizations, according to William Schnabel,
Silverpop’s VP of international marketing.
Implementation takes only a few weeks to
reap early value, which usually comes from
exploiting leads already captured. Full
exploitation of the application takes longer
and reaps more value but requires businessprocess changes in the company.
Schnabel believes lead-nurturing
processes are going to move from nice-tohave to must-have soon. He ticks off the
major benefits: “First, the number of qualified leads can increase several times. Second, marketing can produce more leads
with less effort. Third, the portion of sales
generated by marketing can increase substantially.” He predicts the best nurturers
will further increase their capability to analyze lead data and use this to make both
marketing and sales even more effective.
BearingPoint’s 16,000 employees provide
about $3.5 billion a year in high-end management and technology consulting to
thousands of companies in 43 countries.
Its reps must sell to C-level execs, mostly
chief information officers or CFOs. There
are about 300 to 400 downloads each
week from BearingPoint’s Website, all
potential leads for new business.
Three years ago, global director of interactive marketing Paul Dunay had a couple of
problems. He could not judge the effects of
his many marketing campaigns and did not
have tools to manage the lists of all the email
addresses he was getting. He sat down with
LeadLife Solutions to build a lead-nurturing system. The system has since been
expanded across all of the firm’s domestic
Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. – Eleanor Roosevelt
sales and will soon be extended abroad.
Dunay has gained the visibility he wanted
and can now prove the value of marketing.
Most important, the new system has added
decamillions of sales, he says.
Dunay now has what he calls an “asset
factory” of research – thought-leadership
papers and other materials each shaped to
the interest of particular leads. He uses
his “outposts” in the press and on blogs,
Twitter, and Facebook to pull people to his
Website. There they can download valuable documents and become part of BearingPoint’s lead-nurturing system.
Dunay did not want to dump raw leads
into BearingPoint’s CRM system, so he
asked the sales VP what a qualified lead
was and learned immediately that certain
requirements must be met: There must
be established need, budget, and timing,
and there must be a conversation about a
specific topic with the lead.
A simple scoring system was developed.
A lead gets one point each time a desired
action is taken – downloading a document, listening to a podcast, or attending a
Michael Souza, VP
at ZoomInfo, offers even
more insight on utilizing the wide
reach of the Internet to fill your sales
pipeline. Watch him discuss finding
better lead information on the Web
Webinar or live event. “This tells us if it is
a one-inch fish or a seven-inch fish,”
Dunay explains. An inside sales rep can
contact an interesting “fish” and ask if
other information is desired. If not, the
lead is deferred but not deleted. If the
answer is yes, the lead goes to the sales
force. If the sales rep finds no budget or
suitable timing, the lead is deferred.
Dunay does not trigger-market yet, but
all materials and contacts with a lead are
customized according to past behavior,
areas of interest, and job titles. He uses
past behavior to invite select prospects to
events, rather than large numbers of likely disinterested people.
List management is also part of LeadLife software, and this has been essential
in making sure email addresses are active
and correct. BearingPoint’s system also
informs reps who are already selling to a
large corporation if individuals in another
part of the corporation are showing significant interest in other BearingPoint services, a feature much appreciated in the
field. Dunay is now building an express
lane into the system. For example, if there
are 15 quick downloads of the same paper
from one company, he wants to get these
leads to the field force immediately.
LeadLife is plug-and-play, requiring no
major effort from the IT department.
Dunay urges firms starting out in lead
nurturing to follow five rules: 1) Get those
online leads cleaned up and into the system; 2) get the definition of a qualified
lead right; 3) understand the sales process;
4) help sales understand the marketing
process; and 5) “make a lot of friends; loners will not succeed.” – HENRY CANADAY
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It doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism
“I always have at least
two general conversational
exchanges before I ask,
‘What’s your line of work?’”
The Sky’s Not Limited
How to network successfully anywhere – even in the air
He sees “every day as one big prospecting opportunity.” He’s Dave Topus, a
sales messaging and personal branding consultant who is so persistent in his
quest for leads that he regularly takes airplane flights just to meet new clients.
Imagine that. Going through all that airport hoopla when you don’t have to.
“It started when I gradually realized over the years that I’d met many of my
business contacts on planes,” says Topus. “I thought, why not use air travel in
a more structured and formalized way?”
One of Topus’s recent midair successes occurred when he happened to be
seated beside a CEO on a flight between his hometown of Atlanta and New
York. “We chatted and I gave him an idea for something he was working on,”
Topus recalls. “At the end of the flight we exchanged contact information and
agreed to get back in touch. Lo and behold, the next day when I was flying back,
there he was again on the same plane.” Their second conversation led to a
$75,000 consulting engagement for Topus. (Hint: Topus uses frequent-flier
miles for upgrades to make sure he’s networking with the first-classers.)
“During my past twenty years as a communications consultant and trainer,”
says Topus, “my success has depended upon my ability to build my pipeline and
find decision makers. I think most people view networking too narrowly.
Everybody is meetable.”
On another flight, Topus met a retired CEO who was ultimately able to
introduce him to the key people in the company he’d just left. “Not every contact is a decision maker, but often they can lead you, directly or indirectly, to the
person you need to meet,” says Topus.
On another occasion, Topus, who claims, “I can strike up a conversation with
anybody,” began chatting with a woman and her little dog outside an Irish pub.
“I asked her how old the dog was,” he says, “and in the meantime I noticed she
interesting idea
Think of every day as a prospecting opportunity.
had California license plates. It turned out her husband was a sales manager,
and they’d just transferred to Atlanta. Once he came out and joined us, I was
able to establish quickly what his business was all about, who the VP of sales
was, and whether he thought she’d be receptive to contact from me.”
So how do you get this much information from a stranger without coming off
as, in Topus’s words, the “crazy stalker guy outside the Irish pub”? He says,
“The key element is to be authentically curious, to approach people in non-
a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. – Lucille Ball
threatening ways. The qualifying process
has to happen quickly but also with subtlety, and it always begins with a conversation starter. Just a line or two that gauges
the person’s willingness to engage.”
If there doesn’t happen to be a cute dog
around, Topus suggests asking, “How do
you like your laptop?” It’s a harmless query
that segues easily into how people use their
laptops and ergo, what kind of work they do.
While in line at Starbucks, he might ask,
“Nothing like a strong cup of coffee, is
there?” If people don’t respond, Topus drops
it, but if they indicate a willingness to talk he
might ask them how many cups of coffee
they have a day or if caffeine helps them
stay alert on the job – another casual, nonthreatening way to turn the talk to business.
“I always have at least two general conversational exchanges before I ask, ‘What’s
your line of work?’” says Topus. “It’s less
intrusive than [approaching people] and
immediately asking them what they do
for a living. The best conversational open-
Don’t be convinced that sales are few and far between in this economy.
Listen to “Creativity Sells” with Jeff Keller at,
then dust off your thinking cap and get selling!
“I can strike up a
with anybody.”
ers are circumstantial and based on what’s
going on in the moment. If you and the
other person experience or observe something together, like maybe there’s an irate
passenger across the way, notice how that
person responds to the event. It gives you
a clue to the wavelength they operate on
and how you might establish rapport.”
Of course, not every contact is successful, even for a networking pro like Topus.
“I need people inside the corporate realm,”
he says, “so a schoolteacher isn’t going to
do me much good. On my last flight I was
seated beside an older woman returning
from a funeral…but I gave a shot to the
gal across the aisle. You always start in at
the closest proximity and work out as circumstances dictate.” Like everything else
in sales, midair networking is a bit of a
numbers game, but here’s the number
Dave Topus finds most important: “It only
takes one conversation to turn a stranger
into a contact.”
SalesProfile™ Creates Job Search 2.0
SalesProfile™ is a new innovative job website for
sales professionals seeking a new job. Instead of
posting a traditional resume, salespeople can effectively showcase their true talents online. Candidates
can create a multimedia profile, deliver a 30-second
“A great destination for
accelerating the search
for sales talent.”
Gerhard Gschwandtner
“elevator pitch” video and complete an optional
online behavioral assessment. This content-rich
site will give employers the opportunity to quickly
find the best candidates that match their search
criteria. Employers get the opportunity to quickly
review the candidates’ professional abilities, review
their assessment results and compare the best
candidates. Selling Power publisher Gerhard
Gschwandtner says, “SalesProfile™ is a great destination for accelerating the search for sales talent.”
SalesProfile™ also features a unique “job matching”
wizard, where job seekers can answer a series of
questions about the type of sales position they are
seeking. When they search available job opportunities, it will display the percent match to that job (e.g.
90% match) next to each job listing. Employers can
add profiles to their “favorites list” for later review,
and/or quickly send messages directly through the
system to candidates they’ve decided to interview.
Visit today to learn more.
networking outside the box
Looking for ways to meet potential clients? Your next important
contact could be just around the bend.
Lynne Waymon, cofounder of Make Your Contacts Count, a
nationwide consulting and training firm based in Maryland,
suggests that you “find a leisure activity that some of your typical clients might also enjoy.” She recalls a financial planner
who met potential clients through his love of ballroom dancing.
“We call it the ‘all or nothing rule of networking,’” says Waymon.
“Do one thing well – even if it’s a tango – and people will leap
to the conclusion that you do your job well.”
Waymon also recalls two women who teamed up to go to
chamber of commerce meetings, where they raved about each
other’s services to third parties and introduced each other with
stories that showcased their successes. “They found this much
easier than talking about themselves, and the live testimonials
got the other people interested,” she says.
Tom Begg, a client executive with New Jersey-based Abreon,
thinks networking gets a bad rap: “I always think of networking
as, ‘How many people can I help?’” He has met significant
contacts at a family July 4th cookout, at a college alumni
event, while participating in triathalons, while on vacation, and
while trying to help a colleague find a job. He started a Bruce
Springsteen fan club and says, “Four times a week, people
can join the club online through LinkedIn. I immediately know
what they do for a living and thus if they’re a qualified lead.”
Bill Truax of Trufield Enterprises Inc. wrote the book on effective sales-call training. He says, “I advise people to always
carry business cards and always have opening questions ready
– ways to indirectly find out what other people do. When you
get their business cards in return, immediately write a note to
yourself on the back to help you remember where you met this
person and if there’s any action you should take. Pretty soon
you’ll end up with a stack of business cards, and you’ll be the
go-to person, the person who knows everyone and can connect
people to others they need.”
Truax also advocates a type of “speed prospecting” based on
the concept of speed dating. “You need to get your wording
down to about thirty seconds and then move on to the next person,” he says. “It will feel awkward at first, but by the time you’re
talking to your twentieth prospect, you should have become
pretty good at pitching yourself. It also gives you the chance to
get to know the most people in the least amount of time.”
Bill Cates, author of Get More Referrals Now! (McGraw-Hill,
2004), believes in getting your current customers to do some of
your prospecting for you by introducing you to their colleagues
in a social setting. “I say to them, ‘Please don’t keep me a
secret.’” Cates says. “‘I’m never too busy to be a resource to
people you care about.’”
Upload Your 30-Second “Elevator Pitch”
Video and You Could Win $1,000!
Create your sales profile today to show potential employers why they should hire you.
• Create your sales profile vs. uploading a traditional resume
• Complete a job match wizard to see your percentage
match to all jobs
• Complete our optional online behavioral sales assessment
to help you stand out from the crowd
• Demonstrate your presentation skills by uploading your
30-second “elevator pitch” video (optional)
Create your Sales Profile at!
A $1,000 cash prize and five $100 gift cards will be awarded monthly to random
winners who upload their videos between July 15th and October 15th.
For more information, visit
In today’s economy, PEOPLE,
more than ever before, are the source
of competitive advantage.
Successful companies know that keeping customers and
increasing employee productivity is the key to improved
financial results. If you are looking for new ways to
inspire employees to deliver your brand promise,
motivate salespeople to sell, or to encourage customers
to remain loyal, The Motivation Show is for you.
Learn how to engage your customers and employees in
line with your corporate challenges and opportunities.
Meet with industry experts to design incentive and
recognition programs that reward loyalty and performance.
Organize motivational events and programs to inspire
and engage your customers, employees, channel partners –
even shareholders.
Select program rewards from the industry’s leading suppliers
of brand name merchandise, travel, gift cards and more.
More than 70 professional seminars, more than 1,000
suppliers of merchandise and travel, more than a million
people engaging ideas.
Whether you’re a CEO or a sales, marketing, meeting or
human resource professional, The Motivation Show will
inspire you to start managing the engagement of your
customers and employees as a business asset – resulting in
enhanced profits.
Register today at
Sept. 29
McCorm ct. 1, 2009
ick Plac
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Stay Connected!
Also, discover us on...
For more information, visit
“Calling yourself a coach without the proper training is the
same as my waking up tomorrow morning and saying,
‘Today, I’m going to be a doctor.’ I can say it, but I can’t be it.”
So says Keith Rosen, author of Coaching Salespeople into
Sales Champions: A Tactical Playbook for Managers and
Executives (Wiley, 2008) – and he should know. For his
work as a pioneer and a leader in the coaching profession,
both Inc. and Fast Company magazines named him one of
the five most respected and influential executive coaches in the
country. And, after the devastation of 9/11, the US government called on Rosen to develop an internal, executive coaching initiative for the leaders in the intelligence community.
His book is a comprehensive resource for managers
who want to create and coach world-class sales teams, and
it includes case studies, coaching templates, and a library
of specific coaching questions related to common management hot spots.
For a manager struggling to defuse conflicts and maintain authority, for example, Rosen suggests securing permission to deliver your tough-but-necessary message. Try
these questions to gain what he calls “the coaching edge”:
• I have something I need to tell you that’s going to sting a
little bit, but I need you to know that I’m sharing this with you
for your own good. I just need you to be open to hearing it, OK?
• It’s clear that you don’t agree with this new program,
and I respect your opinion. Unfortunately, it’s not helping
either of us reach our goals. Since our goals are the same,
how about we focus more on what we have to do to successfully get past the next few months. Are you open to discussing how we can do so?
• Can I push you a little harder to develop a better way of
managing your schedule to more than double your productivity each day?
• The way you come across is keeping you from becoming extremely successful. Are you ready to abandon some
self-defeating behaviors and set yourself free?
Subscribe to Keith Rosen’s free online newsletter,
“The Winner’s Path,” at
winnerspath.htm. Visit his blog at
– Lisa Gschwandtner
A wise man will make more opportunity than he finds. – Francis Bacon
Political Wisdom
Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better to be alone than in bad
company. – George Washington, first US president
Old minds are like old horses. You must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order. – John
Adams, second US president
Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on Earth can help
the man with the wrong mental attitude. – Thomas Jefferson, third US president
You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership. – Dwight D. Eisenhower,
34th US president
In his best-selling book, Predictably Irrational, MIT professor
of behavioral economics Dan
Ariely observed that resisting
temptation is a universal human
goal, but our failure to self-regulate is the source of much unhappiness. “When I look around, I
see people trying their best to do
the right thing, whether they are
dieters or families vowing to
spend less and save more,” he
writes. “The struggle for control
is all around us.”
To gain more control, Ariely suggests making “precommitments.”
When he let his students at MIT
set their own deadlines, for example, they missed them. But when
he set deadlines for them – providing a “parental” voice – they got
their assignments in on time.
“If we can’t save from our paycheck, we can take advantage of
our employer’s automatic deduction option,” Ariely notes. “If we
don’t have the will to exercise
alone regularly, we can make an
appointment to exercise in the
company of our friends. These are
the tools we can commit to in
advance, and they may help us be
the kind of people we want to be.”
Adapted from Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That
Shape Our Decisions (HarperCollins, 2008) by Dan Ariely.
For more information, visit
– Lisa Gschwandtner
What you always do before you make a decision is consult. The best public policy is made when you are
listening to people who are going to be impacted. Then, once policy is determined, you call on them to help
you sell it. – Elizabeth Dole, US senator from North Carolina
– Lisa Gschwandtner
Outserving and Outsolving
Having worked with 50,000 sales professionals worldwide, Rick Page,
founder of The Complex Sale Inc. and
author of Make a Winning Habit: A Sales
Manager’s Guide to Making More Sales
& Beating Your Competition (McGrawHill, 2008), has run into every sales
stereotype in the book.
“When we work with firms that are
trying to change to a sales culture, the
first thing we have to do is take away
the old stereotypes – the negative
images of selling – and replace them
with a vision of selling that is not only
acceptable, but also worthwhile.”
A culture that asks salespeople to
sell customers one thing at one time
can lead to the kind of tactics that give
sales reps a bad rap. But the definition
of selling isn’t “sealing the deal,” says
Page. Selling is about earning and nurturing a relationship. Real profits come
from repeat business. Accordingly,
Page defines selling as “outserving and
outsolving the competition.”
“If you don’t earn business in such a
way that you can meet or exceed your
clients’ expectations, you’re not really a
sales team; you’re a sales-prevention
team. Systematically, you will inoculate
your customers against doing repeat
business with you.”
For more, visit
– Lisa Gschwandtner
Not failure, but low aim, is crime. – James Russell Lowell
For more information, visit
How to Handle Chiselers
• Know that the price-chiseling process
is coming, know that it will not hurt, and
plan for it!
• Get to know the people you will be
dealing with before you meet with them.
• Find out the prospect’s or customer’s
real needs before you go in or while you
are on a call by asking open-ended
questions. Once you find out those
needs, strive to show how your company
will satisfy them.
• Build your best benefit to a customer
into your proposal. Go in with options.
• Let customers know up front what is
off-limits for you, such as price slashing
or buy-one-get-one-free gimmicks.
For years, organizing expert and New York Times best-selling author Julie Morgenstern has defined organizing as the process of identifying what’s important
to you and giving yourself access to it. In her new book, When Organizing Isn’t
Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life (Fireside, 2008), she takes things one
step further. When you’re eager to make a change in your life, but you’re unsure
of your new destination, she advises “shedding.” When you get rid of what’s
weighing you down, you gain “the energy and clarity to move forward.”
Facing a move? On a job hunt? Ready to retire? Morgenstern urges clients to
ask themselves the following questions to help them move on:
• Do a mini search for change before
you leave your customer. Then build that
change into your next call.
– Renee Houston Zemanski
Separate the treasures: What is truly worth hanging on to?
Heave the trash: What’s weighing you down?
Embrace your identity: Who are you without all your stuff?
Drive yourself forward: Which direction connects to your genuine self?
Morgenstern points to an example from her own life: One day she decided to get rid of all her theater production books, which she’d been holding on
to for years after she’d stopped working in theater. She admits letting go of
the books was “heartbreaking,” but within months her business started
booming. “Each time I SHED, personally and professionally, things open up
and I move forward.”
When Organizing Isn’t Enough: SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life is available
at For more information, visit
– Lisa Gschwandtner
Foot-in-Mouth Disease
Everyone has experienced the pain of asking the wrong question at the wrong time. (Q: “How’s your husband?” A: “We’re divorcing.”) To avoid these awkward moments, communication expert Debra Fine offers a
surefire opener: “So, bring me up to date. What’s been going on with you since we last spoke?”
Above all, interest is key. “The more interest you show in me, the more interesting you become,” Fine says.
The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills – and
Leave a Positive Impression! (Hyperion, 2005) by Debra Fine, is available at Visit her
website at
– Lisa Gschwandtner
Be Willing to Walk Away
Conventional wisdom says salespeople
should never turn down a possible sale.
It has been my experience, however,
that being willing to walk away from a
prospective sale can be the key to getting the business. I recently received
an email from a prospect indicating that
she wanted us to sell her something
that we felt was not in her best interest.
I responded that in light of her request,
I thought she would be better served
by another partner/vendor. She
answered by saying she shared some
of the same concerns that we had and
appreciated that we were obviously
looking out for her best interest. She
became a substantial client of ours.
– Greg Carrera
Men are not influenced by things, but by their thoughts about things. – Epictetus
Selling Power Conferences
110,000 visitors
750 attendees
per month
Selling Power Magazine
per year
Selling Power Webinars
Selling Power TV
400-600 participants
85,000 viewers
per online event
per month
Selling Power Microsites
200 leads
per month
The #1 Resource for Your Sales Success
CONTACT: Gerhard Gschwandtner at 540/752-7000 or email [email protected]
Your best odds of qualifying a B2B lead happen within
20 minutes after interest is shown.
The Science of Cold Calling
A new study suggests timing determines cold-calling success
Sales reps who hate cold calling will be
relieved to learn that science has come to
their rescue. A recent study suggests that
cold-calling success may depend less on
your sales skills than on how soon you
follow up on a lead and the time that you
make your calls.
Dr. James Oldroyd from the Kellogg
School of Management recently examined
the electronic logs of more than a million
cold calls made by thousands of sales professionals inside approximately 50 companies. “Using a variety of analysis
techniques, we extracted patterns of success and failure which reveal that some of
the conventional wisdom concerning cold
calling is just plain wrong,” he explains.
For example, most cold-calling experts
recommend putting aside a certain
amount of time every weekday to make
calls. However, Oldroyd’s research indicates that Thursday is by far the best day to
contact a lead in order to qualify him or
her as a prospect. By contrast, Friday is
the worst day, by almost 20 percent when
compared to Thursday.
Similarly, some experts recommend
making cold calls around 1:00 p.m., during the natural work lull that follows the
midday meal. Other experts recommend
calling in midmorning, when your own
energy is at its peak. Turns out, though,
that those are the wrong times entirely.
The best times to call to qualify a lead,
according to Oldroyd’s findings, are from
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and from 4:00
p.m. to 5:00 p.m. In fact, 8:00 a.m. to
9:00 a.m. is 164 percent better than calling right after lunch.
Conventional wisdom also says that
you’ve got anywhere from a few days to a
week to follow up on a lead that’s shown
some interest in your offerings (by accessing your Website, for instance). Not so.
Oldroyd’s study reveals that in B2B selling
environments, the best odds of qualifying
a lead happen within 20 minutes after
interest is shown. Best case, you should
• Thursday is the best day to contact
a lead; Friday is the worst.
• The best times to qualify a lead are
from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00
p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
• The worst time to qualify a lead is
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., right after lunch.
• You are 21 times more likely to
qualify a B2B lead by calling within
five minutes after the prospect has
shown interest in your product.
• Your best odds of qualifying a
B2B lead happen within 20 minutes
after interest is shown.
• After 20 minutes, the campaign should
adopt a more aggressive approach.
• The best way to contact a lead
for qualification: The telephone call
still works best.
• Mixed media tends to overwhelm and
is less effective than generally believed.
• After four months, drop the
telephone calling and go to your
cheapest nurturing program.
• The outside-sales growth rate
has nearly stalled, leveling off at a
.5 percent annual growth.
• Companies are adding new
inside sales departments at a rate
of 7.5 percent annual growth.
• By 2012, nearly 800,000
companies are expected to add
inside sales departments.
• Forty-one percent of outside sales
activities are conducted over the phone.
call within five minutes, which is 21 times
more likely to result in a qualified prospect
than if you wait an entire half hour.
Another maxim of cold calling is that
the routine is pretty much the same,
regardless of the target industry. But that’s
not the case. Some industries, such as
communications and information technology, require that cold calling take place
almost immediately after a lead has shown
interest in order to be effective. Other
industries, such as financial services and
healthcare, can tolerate longer response
times, even as long as 24 hours.
Dr. Oldroyd cautions that his research,
while definitive, is not yet complete. “We
still need to study how the time factor
influences selling at different price
points,” he says. Oldroyd also notes that
individual companies may find that their
success rates are influenced by other factors. “It’s absolutely vital to measure and
analyze your own sales data to see what’s
working and what’s not,” he advises.
As a general rule, Dr. Oldroyd believes
his research strongly suggests that companies should realign and reprioritize their
sales team deployments. “It’s probably better to have inside sales reps sitting around
and making cold calls whenever a lead
shows an interest than paying them to
make cold calls to follow up on old leads,”
he explains.
He also believes that companies should
staff up their inside sales forces, rather
than invest more on field sales. Fortunately, that’s a trend that’s already taking place,
according to Oldroyd. “Companies are
adding new, inside sales departments at a
rate of 7.5 percent annual growth,” he says.
“By 2012, nearly 800,000 companies
worldwide will have added inside sales
departments where none existed before.”
If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer. – Yogi Berra
Spectacular achievements come from unspectacular preparation. – Roger Staubach
2009 Sales 2.0
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Sales 2.0 brings together customer-focused
methodologies and productivity-enhancing technologies
that transform selling from an art to a science.
In today’s economy, sales leaders need to stay one
step ahead of the competition. This means finding
the right prospect at the right time, understanding
the customer’s buying behavior, getting accurate
visibility into the sales pipeline, and leveraging
the power of social media to connect with customers
and prospects.
Sales 2.0 Innovation
is not a one-time event,
it is an inevitable and
permanent process that
needs to be embedded in
the growth DNA of your
sales organization.
Join us for the Sales 2.0 Conference in Chicago on
September 10. You will hear firsthand case studies
from your peers on how they are harnessing the
power of Sales 2.0 to win more deals and satisfy
their customers’ needs.
Benefits of attending:
• Benefit from the best practices of more than
14 sales leaders.
• Gain insight to practical solutions that your sales
team can benefit from immediately.
• Interact with your peers in a collaborative setting.
• Network with VPs of sales and make connections.
• Test-drive innovative solutions from a select group
of Sales 2.0 sponsors.
• Enjoy free drinks with your new friends at the
networking reception.
For information about sponsorship opportunities,
please contact Larissa Gschwandtner at
[email protected] or 831/435-9563.
For all the Sales 2.0 Conference details
Fairmont Hotel, Chicago, IL
Agenda highlights:
• How to Create a More Productive Sales Pipeline
• Sales Lead Management 2.0 – Best Practices
for a Profitable Lead Pipeline
• Customer Engagement Strategies
• The Sales 2.0-Driven Sales Process
• Social Networking in a Sales 2.0 World
• How to Measure, Predict, and Reward
Sales Performance
Conference fees:
Very Early Bird
Early Bird
Standard Rates
Expires 7/28/2009
Expires 8/20/2009
Begins 8/21/2009
Your registration includes access to all the conference
sessions, group breakfast, networking lunch,
cocktail reception, and the Sales 2.0 resource library
(available on 9/10/09).
How to register:
Visit for details
on how to register. Email any questions to
[email protected]
What Past Participants Say:
“I have been to many sales seminars
and conferences, and this was by
far one of the best. The content and
learning about the application of
new technologies was great. To
hear real success stories from ‘nonpaid’ people is what it is all about.”
National Sales Manager, TransMotion Medical Inc.
“The Sales 2.0 Conference does an
incredible job of getting an eclectic
collection of vice presidents of sales
together to share their time and their
insights with each other. Both the
presentations and the networking
were invaluable!”
Vice President of Sales, Market2Lead
Media Sponsors:
“It’s fair and
it’s achievable.”
The Finish Line
How to set goals that motivate,
not demoralize
Besides pesky customers and saturated
markets, a sales professional’s biggest
complaint must be a manager who sets an
unreachable goal. Who can get psyched
about running a race that takes you to the
moon and back?
Sales managers will often set quotas that
are not scientifically determined or grounded in data. One common mistake they
make is assuming that the results in one
good idea!
territory can be mimicked in another, e.g.,
“If Georgia can do these numbers, South
Carolina should follow right behind.” Or
managers might base goals on results that
were achieved in the past without factoring
in new financial realities.
“Goal setting is tough for two reasons,”
says Andris Zoltners, managing director at
ZS Associates, a professor at Northwestern
University, and coauthor of Building a Winning Sales Force: Powerful Strategies for Driving High Performance (AMACOM, 2009).
“First of all you have to get the big overall
number right, and then you have to get the
allocation right, both for territories and for
individuals. If you set the goal too low,
you’re not only just giving away money, but
• Set expectations.
• Set targets.
• Set a schedule.
Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence, only
in constant improvement and constant change. – Tom Peters
once people reach it, they stop working.”
But going to the opposite extreme is
also dangerous. “Some managers are big
fans of ‘stretch goals,’ but when goals are
too high, people get frustrated,” says Zoltners. “They check out mentally and hold
off until the next period when they think
you’ll be more reasonable.”
Wrong. A goal that’s too high – or one that
sales reps perceive has just been plucked
out of midair – isn’t merely unmotivating.
It’s demotivating. Jim Ball, president of
The Goals Institute (
and coauthor of 10 Best Tips for Closing the
SALE, says, “Managers often pick a number that’s an arbitrary 10 or 20 percent
increase over last year’s results. This kind
of ‘throw it against the wall and see if it
sticks’ mentality rarely works.”
One sales rep put it this way: “When
goals are too high, it’s not just that the
company doesn’t get the revenue. Another
bad thing can happen, something that’s
more insidious. Not reaching goals is
depressing. Good salespeople want to
reach their goals and feel bad if they don’t.
If management sets unreachable goals,
the salesperson can crash.”
Somewhere between the too-high and the
too-low goal is what Zoltners calls the “peakeffort goal.” “This is the goal that results in
high sales and a reasonable payout,” says
Zoltners. “It’s fair and it’s achievable.”
When trying to set a goal that’s high
enough to inspire growth but not so high
that it’s unlikely to be reached, managers
should consider the following:
Goals should be tied to variables the
salespeople can control. Salespeople can’t
control the general economy, so if their
goals are derailed by outside factors, they’ll
feel helpless. But they’ll feel empowered
staff’s performance can be reasonably measured by considering
criteria other than whether or not
each rep is making the numbers.
Watch Richard Blabolil discuss
“Measuring Employee Value” at
What Should I Do If My Goals Are Too High?
If your manager sets a goal that you honestly feel is unreachable, don’t sit and
sulk – take action.
REQUEST A MEETING to discuss the situation. Rather than simply saying, “My
goal is too high,” ask your manager to help you break down the specific steps it
would take to reach your goal. If these steps are unrealistic – nobody can make 10
face-to-face calls in a day – the manager might see that the goal is unrealistic.
COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, communicate. Set up a schedule in which you will
talk to your manager at set times every month to discuss where you are vis-à-vis
your goal. “Tell your manager if you’re not on track,” advises Jim Ball. “Say, ‘Hey, I’m
working my fanny off, but there’s clearly something here I don’t see and I want to
correct it before another month goes by. What do I need to do differently to make
this number?’”
IF YOUR BUSINESS or territory is in flux and you suspect management is struggling to
establish a reasonable goal, request a shorter goal-setting period. In this environment
it may be hard to accurately look a full year out, so ask to establish a quarterly goal
and then reevaluate.
MAKE A PREEMPTIVE strike. If unreachable or ambiguous goals are an ongoing
problem with your management team, set your own goals. Just be sure to do it in
the spirit of a team player. Ask for a meeting before a new evaluation period begins
and say, “For the next quarter I intend to make these figures. How does that
sound?” Or say, “My goal for the next quarter is a face-to-face meeting with 80 percent of my clients. Does this seem realistic to you?”
and in control if their goals are tied directly to their own behaviors.
Goals should be customized to fit the
particulars of each salesperson’s situation.
“If one rep has a big territory and another
has a small territory, then obviously the
first rep should have the higher goal,” says
Zoltners. “But knowing exactly how much
higher requires real skill on the part of
management. [Managers] may need outside help to make sure the allocation is
fair and motivating.”
Goals should be broken down into
small bites. Ball recalls once being in a
sales meeting where a CEO stood up and
boomed, “It’s clear where we’re going.
Our sales next year will be a billion two.”
But Ball asks, “Was that really a clear
goal? Could anyone in that room relate to
$1.2 billion? The general goal is your
beginning statement, but it must be transformed into a series of steps so that it gets
down into the hearts and minds of the
people who are actually going to do the
work. Management must be able to show
their reps the clear path they’ll take to
reach that larger goal.”
And then keep checking in. “Sales goals
can be predictable if management spends
time helping people set subgoals that will
lead to the desired overall result,” says
Ball. “But once managers have set individual targets, they need to keep checking
in to make sure people understand exactly what they need to do. How many people
do you have to talk to in a week? How
many yeses do you have to get? You can’t
just say these things once. There needs
to be a series of conversations.”
Be prepared to adjust goals if it’s clear
they’re unreachable. “If after a month a
salesperson has been taking the steps you
outlined and still isn’t on track to meet
the goal,” says Ball, “then the overall goal
might not be realistic.”
When sales goals are unreachable, everybody loses. The company doesn’t get the revenue, the reps don’t get the commission,
and the manager doesn’t get the bonus. If
you’re having trouble setting peak-effort
goals, consider reevaluating more frequently.
“In a tough economy you may have to
adjust your goals,” says Zoltners. “But that
doesn’t mean failure. It can be the chance
to remotivate your team members with a
goal they consider to be fair. Sometimes
sales can be increased by lowering your
The only safe ship in a storm is leadership. – Faye Wattleton
0% ter
10 Ma
Train for Tough Times
Prepare Your Sales Team for
Winning in a Slow Market
At only $99, Selling Power’s practical
Sales Training Book 2 could be the most
significant investment you make to
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The Sales Training Book 2 contains
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“These projects
can inspire
employees to
perform better.”
Good Deeds
In 2004, Steve Karas, an Aflac regional
sales manager in Boston, was matched as
a bone marrow donor to Matthew Welling,
who was then two years old and suffering from a rare bone disorder. Karas had
never met the Welling family, but he had
registered as a donor years earlier through
his synagogue. Patients with such lifethreatening diseases as leukemia and lymphoma can have a difficult time finding
donors whose tissue type matches their
own. In fact, only 39 percent of the people
who need transplants ever find a compatible donor. Karas not only helped save
Matthew’s life, but he became a close
friend of Matthew’s entire family – and
along the way he also became the inspiration for one of the largest bone marrow
donor drives in the world.
Matthew’s recovery would have been a
touching but isolated story if Aflac president Paul Amos hadn’t gotten involved.
Last year the first phase of Aflac’s Bone
Marrow Donor Registration Program
kicked off, and the program will ultimately be extended to Aflac’s 4,000 employees
and many of its 70,000 registered agents.
Amos is so committed to the project that
he is paying the bone marrow registry fees
for listed agents out of his own pocket.
“Knowing what kind of company Aflac
is, I knew that our leadership would
respond to our story, and I wasn’t surprised
when Paul Amos organized employee
bone marrow drives,” says Karas. “It makes
me proud to be part of the Aflac team.”
Corporate involvement in worthwhile
How companies and sales professionals are making a positive
impact in the lives of others
The leader must know, must know that he knows, and must be able to make
Aflac sales agent Steve Karas
holds little Matthew Welling, whose
life he saved when he donated
bone marrow through the National
Marrow Donor Program.
it abundantly clear to those about him that he knows. – Clarence A. Randall
causes obviously helps the recipients of
these services, but it can also help motivate a sales team. “A community service
project utilizes the same principles as any
other kind of group activity, but true bonding is much more prevalent when giving
back is involved,” says Jon Sullivan, external communications officer with Impact 4
Good, a socially responsible team-building company in Washington, DC. “When
you’ve worked together with your colleagues to change somebody’s life, it’s
something you never forget. You call upon
it weeks, months, and even years later,
and when correctly utilized, these projects
can inspire employees to perform better.”
Impact 4 Good (www.impact4good .com)
plans and facilitates for corporate groups
community-service-based activities that meet
motivational objectives while assisting those
in need. The range of projects the organization has developed is truly diverse. Last February, Impact 4 Good was asked to
customize an activity that would be fun and
motivating for participants who were attend-
1. Boost your morale.
2. Find a good cause.
3. Look around for a need.
4. Get over yourself.
ing a retreat near Atlanta. The company’s
goals were to simultaneously integrate business objectives – in this case team building
– while giving back to the community, and
the result was the Murphy Family Project.
The Murphys, who were already the parents of four, had opened up their home to
23 children with Down syndrome, so activity participants constructed cubbies, providing each child a place to store personal
belongings, keeping clutter to a minimum.
The activity began with a short video about
the family, and then the group got busy
hammering, nailing, and decorating the
cubbies, as well as wrapping gifts for the
family. At the conclusion of the session,
18 of the Murphy children walked into the
ballroom to an emotional standing ovation
from the corporate group.
“Participants don’t necessarily have to
know the people they’re helping for a
morale boost to occur,” says Sullivan, “but
they do need to understand the recipient’s
situation. A good community service program must also raise awareness. Yes, simply building a Habitat for Humanity home
is rewarding. But building that same
home after learning what the new homeowner has been through, the process a
person must go through to be accepted
into the program, or the plight of the
homeless in a given community makes
the experience all the more real.”
Sullivan believes humans have an inherent desire to reach out to each other but
adds, “Oftentimes, people need a little help
to find these opportunities to give back.
When an employee is given such an opporqcontinued on page 40
author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees
What the Best Companies do to get Results in Tough Times
panies d
Best Com
What the
sults in
to get Re
We are in the middle of an economic downturn that is deeper
and more damaging to the world economy than anything experienced since the 1930s. This means that to thrive—or even just
to survive—company owners, executives, managers and even
employees must take action today to remake their businesses in
a way that is profound and long-lasting.
In this book, Dr. Bob Nelson, best-selling author of 1001 Ways to
Reward Employees, discusses his recent research, experience
and insights as to how managers and organizations can make a
practical difference during tight and recessionary times—even
with little time, resources or budget. This book uses hundreds of
current and practical examples of what today’s managers and
business owners are doing to keep employees focused and positive in ways that can help their organization to emerge stronger
from difficult economic times.
To order, visit
Bulk discounts & training DVD also available
For more information, visit
The Ultimate Sales Library
Get your $319 Success Library for only $199!
The Sales Question Book
This book gives you instant access to 1,100 skillfully phrased
and field-tested questions that you can use on every call
from the opening to the close. It is the ultimate open
sesame. You’ll leave every call with more vital information
and gain more leverage to close more sales. With better
questions at your fingertips, you’ll enjoy selling more and
you’ll save hours in call preparation. (regularly $99)
The Sales Closing Book
The Sales Script Book
The Sunny Side of Selling
Getting to “yes” is easier and faster
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270 individual closing techniques.
It is the most complete sales closing
guide on the market. The Sales
Closing Book reveals the subtle
words, the careful moves, and the
action steps of top sales achievers –
no high-pressure tactics, just highly
effective strategies so you can
conclude more sales calls with a
happy ending. (regularly $99)
Benefit from this super collection of 420
tested responses to 30 of the most
important and most difficult customer
objections. This handy three-ring-binder book
allows you to quickly flip to the appropriate
answer while your customer is still on the
phone. Having this book gives you an almost
unfair advantage on the telephone. It’s the
ideal reference and training handbook for
every sales office. (regularly $99)
Give the gift of laughter! This book
contains the finest collection of 200 of
the best cartoons published by Selling
Power magazine over the past 24 years.
The topics include every step of the
sale from appointments to prospecting,
sales process, presentations, negotiations,
and closing. The book also covers sales
management, hiring, firing, training,
sales psychology, attitude, and motivation.
(regularly $22)
❑ Yes! Send me the Ultimate Sales Library for only $199 (shipping within the U.S. included).
I can return the
Ultimate Sales Library
in good condition within
10 days of receipt
and receive a
100% refund.
The library consists of The Sales Question Book, The Sales Closing Book,
The Sales Script Book, and The Sunny Side of Selling.
NAME _________________________________________________________________TITLE ________________________________________________
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Mail to Selling Power, PO Box 5467, Fredericksburg, VA 22403; fax to 540/752-7001;
or for fastest service call 1-800-752-7355.
qcontinued from page 38
tunity by an employer, it builds feelings of
pride and loyalty toward the company.
When employees feel good about the company they work for, they are more willing to
go the extra mile to get the task at hand
done to the best of their ability.”
Just as in the Aflac bone marrow drive,
what starts as one simple gesture of giving
often accelerates into more. Sullivan
recalls a program designed to benefit a
school for the homeless in San Diego. “At
the end of the program,” he says, “the
company made an additional financial
donation of $500, which was then
matched by two participants at the meeting, resulting in $1,500 for the school.
“Another client we worked with in
Jamaica hired us to run a program that
resulted in the assembly of beehives for a
local beekeeping cooperative. Rather than
just donate the beehives, which were used
by farmers to increase their income, the
company purchased honey from the farmers and had their local office contact the
cooperative president to discuss ongoing
support of their efforts.”
The ways in which companies can develop giving initiatives are endless. Some
large organizations, such as Microsoft,
encourage employees to donate to causes
of their choosing and then provide matching funds. Other businesses give participants a volunteer day that doesn’t count
against their vacation. And it’s hard to
come across a company that doesn’t have a
corporate social-responsibility officer and
information on its Website about various
causes it supports and why those causes
are important to the organization.
“In these hard times, employees and
employers are realizing that they need to
work together more efficiently,” says Sullivan, “and these programs bring people
together to do that in a really impactful
way. They have the added benefit of making changes in the lives of people, so it’s
not just frivolous fun.” And in a financial
environment in which expensive jaunts
to Hawaii are becoming increasingly
incompatible with cultural mores, showing concern for others isn’t just politically
correct, it’s hypermotivating.
“People forget certain kinds of rewards,”
says Sullivan, “but they never forget these
experiences. Nor do they forget the people
with whom they shared them.”
There’s no doubt that the bone marrow
For more information, visit
drive has been a rallying point for the
huge and diverse Aflac sales force. “Most
agents are drawn to Aflac because they
want to sell products that help people
when a medical event causes financial
challenges,” says president Paul Amos,
“so I’m not surprised that they have united around the opportunity to save a life.”
Matthew is now a boisterous, healthy,
red-haired boy who likes reggae music
and Oreos, and he is unlikely to be the
only one who benefits from the gesture
Steve Karas made years ago. In the first
six weeks after starting the drive, Aflac
registered more than 2,000 new bone
marrow donors.
check this out
Corporate kindness is an
excellent morale booster,
and so, too, is an incentive trip
that’s kind to Mother Earth!
Read the Selling Power article
“Go for the Green” for suggestions on tantalizing – and green
– incentive travel destinations, at
Up to
The Internet has changed the way
customers buy. Are you still clinging to
the old ways of selling? Have you tied your
salespeople’s hands behind their backs,
forcing them to win battles with obsolete
tools? It is time to take a closer look at
the latest Sales 2.0 tools that can help
you run your sales operation at far greater
levels of productivity and efficiency. Sales
2.0 combines customer-focused processes
with Web 2.0 technologies to enhance the
art and science of selling while creating
customer value.
On the following pages, we share
the most important and most effective
Sales 2.0 solutions. We also describe
the potential impact of these solutions
on your sales organization. This special
section is also available online,
with live links to each solution, at
Dow Jones Turns Information into
Business Intelligence
Let’s face it: Selling has never been more difficult. The tight
economy keeps doors closed and budgets small. According to
industry research, more than 40 percent of sales representatives are under quota, while year-to-year revenues from existing
customers are down sharply across a broad swath of industries.
At the same time, the sales process is getting longer and more vices, keywords. In addition, you can set up trigger events that
complex. Industry analysis shows that more than half of all com- ensure your leads are dynamic and reflect timely opportunities.
panies report that it takes six or more calls to close a deal! In fact, Dow Jones helps you unearth, explore, and connect to people,
more than a quarter of all B2B sales cycles take seven months or companies, and opportunities.
more to close. That’s 25 percent
2. Qualifying. Dow Jones helps you
Easily find opportunities with news events
longer than just six years ago.
take advantage of the social netimpacting your prospects and clients
To make matters worse, the numworks across your organization and
ber of deals that actually close is
beyond. You can discover multiple
declining year over year, with nearly
ways to connect to your target, find
a third of all forecasted deals lost
colleagues who know the prospect,
and nearly a fourth ending in no
plus access biographical informadecision. More and more sales
tion and news coverage on your
cycles are being completely wasttarget. As a result, you can better
ed, resulting in dead deals and no
position your offering to meet that
revenue coming in.
target’s needs.
And if that weren’t enough, rapid
3. Selling. Dow Jones automatically
shifts in the business landscape,
finds and can deliver via email or
with mergers, reorganization, layCRM key events that signal that a
offs, etc., make it ever harder for
prospect is ready to make a decisales representatives to keep track
sion. It can provide early warning
of what’s going on in their sales
of management moves, product
territory. Decision makers are laid
launches, real-estate purchases, or
off. Projects are put on hold. New
any other event that might influence
managers bring different priorities.
a sale. This helps ensure that you
It’s tough out there. So how do
time your sales activities to match
The boxes indicate the volume of news, and you can click
you find the companies that will
the customer’s buying process.
to drill down to view headlines.
invest now? How do you build the
4. Retaining. Dow Jones helps you
breadth of relationship that protects your deal? The answer is stay on top of your existing accounts. It identifies new contacts
Dow Jones.
to extend your network and discovers up-sell opportunities so
Some sales professionals may regard Dow Jones as simply a that you continually strengthen your customer relationships by
way of measuring stock-market performance. However, Dow responding to their changing business needs.
Jones is also a company that provides information about busiDow Jones provides solid business intelligence throughout
ness and companies and the executives who run them. In the sales cycle, providing the right information in the right forfact, Dow Jones provides the world’s most complete collection mat at the right time to the right people. With Dow Jones, sales
of news and data about global companies, industries, and representatives can flush out new opportunities, target the
executives, featuring more than 28 million executives and 17 right companies, and make connections to key executives.
million companies worldwide in a comprehensive database.
Most importantly, sales representatives spend their valuable
More importantly, Dow Jones has figured out how to make that time developing the best opportunities prioritized around the
information useful during all stages of the sales cycle:
companies that are prepared to buy. And that means more rev1. Prospecting. Dow Jones lets you build rich, targeted lists of enue and profit, even during difficult times.
prospects based on more than 35 criteria, including locaFor more information, please visit
tion, industry, revenue, news, and, unlike other such ser- com/sales.
GoldMine’s Configurability Transforms
Data into Actionable Knowledge
Competitors nipping at your heels? Planning to introduce new
products or services? Including new markets, geographies,
and/or channels in your growth plan? If so, you’ll need a CRM
system that can grow and evolve as you reinvent your business.
Whether that’s easy or difficult will depend greatly on whether
your CRM implementation can reflect the nuances of your
business without requiring expensive recoding. Such customization can be long and complicated, causing your CRM
implementation costs to spiral out of control.
Customization, with the difficult coding involved, calls for a
skilled programmer. The coding alone is time-consuming, and the
process becomes even lengthier because, before the changes
can be rolled out to users, the new code must be tested.
If your IT staff is overburdened by other projects, you’ll have
to wait in line for your changes. By the time they’re ready, your
business requirements or the market conditions may have
changed, rendering the coded modification obsolete.
Instead, what you want is a CRM system that has built-in
reconfiguration. Ideally, a sales professional or sales manager
should be able to quickly implement and tune changes. For
example, if customer feedback indicates that your sales
process workflow needs an addition, a sales professional
should be able to make the change without IT assistance.
At the most rudimentary level, a CRM solution should allow
you to add or edit fields with a point-and-click, drag-and-drop
interface, so they reflect your specific business model. The
CRM solution should also enable you to create a personally rel-
evant system. The solution should be intelligent enough to
present only information relevant to the role or function the
sales rep is currently performing, rather than display a horde of
irrelevant fields and screens.
For example, when a sales rep and a sales manager access
the account screen, they should see information tailored to
their specific roles. The sales rep’s screen should have quick
actions such as “create a contact” or “create an opportunity”
pinned to his or her personalized navigation bar.
By contrast, the sales manager, who needs a higher understanding of the account’s overall revenue potential, should
have “export forecast” or “export opportunities over a certain revenue value” as
quick actions pinned to his or her personalized navigation bar.
The trick, then, is to use configuration to
transform data into information and, more
importantly, to transform information into
action-oriented knowledge. Unfortunately,
very few CRM systems are easily customized in this way.
One CRM product that definitely has this
capability is GoldMine from FrontRange
Solutions. For example, suppose a sales
manager wants to expand his or her
foothold in the Northeast and plans to host
a seminar for a vertical market in Boston.
With GoldMine’s configuration capabilities,
that sales manager can quickly generate a
view of all the accounts in Boston, by
industry, to determine which vertical market has the deepest penetration of existing customers and
which new vertical may be ripe for the picking.
The ability to transform data into action-oriented knowledge
is one of the most powerful potentials of CRM but is often the
most overlooked criterion in CRM selection. Making the extra
effort to scrutinize CRM configuration capabilities during your
selection process will be richly rewarding when your system is
up and running.
For more information, please call 1-800-443-5457 or visit
Marketo Turns a Prospect Database
into a Social Network
B2B selling used to mean sending a road warrior to call upon customers face-to-face. That’s no longer true, though. According to a
recent study by James Oldroyd of the Kellogg School of Management, corporate hiring of outside sales reps has leveled off at 0.5
percent annual growth, while hiring of inside sales reps is growing
at a lively 7.5 percent clip annually.
By 2012, nearly 800,000 more companies will host inside
sales teams – and they’ll be using the telephone and the Internet to nurture, develop, and close sales opportunities. Even the
remaining field sales teams won’t be spending as much time
meeting face-to-face. Oldroyd’s study discovered that more than
two-fifths of all activities conducted by customer-facing teams
were actually handled
over the phone.
Selling has moved
online and over the
phone because customers prefer it that
way. Never before have
customers been better
informed and more
likely to understand a
vendor, its products,
and its competitors.
As research and
buying have moved
online, the process of
selling has grown less personal,
more mechanical, and ultimately driven by the customer’s agenda.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing –
certainly customers are happy about
it – but it does put sales reps at a bit
of a disadvantage.
With the prospective buyer now in
control of the process, it’s hard for a
sales rep to use body language and
gut instinct to decide when to pursue a deal or when to back off.
Because so much of the interaction is online, even a seasoned,
savvy rep may end up in the dark when it comes to knowing
which leads and opportunities would appreciate a follow-up call.
That’s where Marketo Sales Insight comes in. It allows sales
reps to define a “social network” of leads and contacts that
they are interested in following. It then presents the rep with
Facebook-style “status updates” from the leads and contacts
they follow, highlighting the key moments and events that
might indicate buying interest.
Unlike Twitter or Facebook, where the user has to post status
updates, Marketo Sales Insight uses the collective intelligence of
marketing and sales to identify key moments from an otherwise
overwhelming amount of activity data derived from Web analytics, email tracking, and other measures of buying behavior.
For example, suppose that in response to a monthly newsletter, a prospective customer visits your Website’s product page
to learn more about a new offering,
watches a demo, views a case
study, then visits the pricing page –
all within a four-hour period of time.
With Marketo Sales Insight, sales
and marketing teams can jointly
decide, make your system understand, and give you a heads-up: This
behavior means that the customer
in question is probably looking to
buy a service contract.
As such, it might be a
good idea to give that
customer a call.
Because Marketo
analyzes and distills
behavioral data from
the Web, sales professionals can focus on
selling, rather than on
analyzing and interpreting Web-activity behavior. Marketo Sales
Insight helps the entire
team focus its sales
efforts on the right people at the right time with the right response.
ServiceSource, a provider of service-performance management, is a case in point, according to Katie Efstratis, the company’s sales manager. “Marketo Sales Insight helps us closely
monitor our clients, send trackable emails, and receive instant
notifications so we can better respond to our clients’ needs and
earn their renewal business,” she explains.
To learn more about Marketo Sales Insight and Marketo’s
solutions for marketing and sales teams, please visit
TM Turns Knowledge
into a Sales Tool
Most everybody acknowledges that people buy from people. To
that end, the competency, knowledge, and responsiveness of
each of your sales reps is a critical differentiator.
Unfortunately, study after study suggests that buyers are
unhappy with sales reps’ lack of knowledge and slow response.
It’s a serious problem. According to a recent Cahners survey, 58
percent of buyers report that sales reps are unable to answer
their questions effectively. And 40 percent
of sale professionals’
time is spent finding
the information and
knowledge required to
do their jobs.
Fortunately, according to CSO Insights,
addressing this issue
can boost the number of sales reps
making quota by 23
percent and improve
the win rates of forecasted deals by 13 percent. And it also improves
morale and retention, cutting sales rep turnover by
nearly a third.
A large part of the issue is sales reps’ inability to
find and access the individual(s) with the know-how,
experience, and ideas needed. And even if they do,
the conversation isn’t captured and made available to
others who may benefit from the same information.
The challenge begins the instant an organization
grows beyond a small team and can no longer easily gather in
person to collaborate, share experiences, and exchange knowhow. As a company expands, people become separated by
time and distance, expertise is scattered, people no longer
know everyone else, and the opportunity to readily converse
and collaborate is lost. Sales reps are left making frantic phone
calls, sending out Hail Mary emails to broad groups of people,
and trolling through a variety of information sources.
How to meet this challenge? Sales managers might consider
using a new SaaS service,
acts like the ultimate virtual watercooler:
• It is accessible from anywhere and at any time;
• It allows you to collaborate asynchronously with others
who have registered;
• It organically remembers and shares all conversations current and past.
If you still don’t have all the crucial information you need,
it can automatically identify and connect you to the right
people to the get the expertise you need. And it uses and
ties together traditional communication venues such as
email and IM with new Web 2.0 facilities, such as wikis,
blogs, and communities. is readily accessible via the Web, is integrated with, and for the onthe-go sales rep through email and mobile
devices. To support wide and easy participation, experts don’t need to sign on to the system; they merely respond to an email, and their
response is sent back to the sales rep while it is
organically captured, tagged and stored in Selling Next time a similar situation arises, the system can answer it immediately,
without bothering
the expert or forcing the sales rep to
embark on an
expedition mission.
readily opens the
lines of communication across your
company connecting sales reps to
ALL the expertise,
experience, ideas,
insight and creativity they need to
enable them to be more effective in today’s hyper-charged selling environment. According to Julie Thomas, president and
CEO of the sales training firm ValueVision, “We find the application particularly helpful for identifying experts and encouraging collaboration and are very excited to roll out the solution to
all of our sales professionals.”
For more information, please visit
Xactly Creates the Perfect Lens into
Sales Performance with Analytics
In this age of widespread business visibility, it’s ironic that sales
performance remains a dangerous blind spot for most companies.
This is particularly alarming given today’s macroeconomic conditions, where anything that can maximize the value of your sales
spend should be eagerly
embraced. But there is a
way to eliminate that blind
spot and increase your sales
organization’s performance
by gathering and analyzing
the valuable data created
from each sales transaction.
The starting point: knowing
where to look.
The value of data is well
recognized by sales. CRM
applications have revolutionized selling by helping organize “pre-sales” data (e.g., contacts
and opportunities) needed to manage
the sales pipeline. But what about
“post-sales” data?
There is an enormous amount of
potentially useful data produced at
the time of sale – information about
who bought what from whom, where,
at what price, with what discount, and at what commission
level. When collected and analyzed, this data can be leveraged
for insights into selling patterns, individual and team effectiveness, and product performance. It can be used to gain visibility into commissions spend and sales-plan effectiveness. And
it can be combined with pre-sales CRM data for the fullest possible picture of what is going on in the field and to drive strategic sales behaviors in real time.
The proverbial sweet spot of sales analytics – the place
where you can meld pre- and post-sales data to find useful,
actionable patterns – is your compensation system. The why
and where of how you pay your sales professionals is the perfect lens through which you can best understand the entire
sales cycle. What’s more, this kind of post-sales data is more
accurate because it has been filtered through the strict rules
and financial controls of your compensation system.
The resulting insight into what’s happening in your sales
funnel can help you tune and transform your sales team’s
performance, ensuring accuracy, consistency, visibility, and
compliance throughout the sales process. Combine that with
the ability to easily use compensation to modify and alter
sales behaviors, and you’re talking about a true sales performance management (SPM) system.
That’s why it’s not surprising that Xactly, a pioneer in ondemand SPM systems, recently added extensive analytics capabilities. Through a set of dashboards
and interactive reports, Xactly Analytics delivers insight into what’s going
on and what to expect to those who
need it most – finance departments,
sales teams, and sales management.
Xactly Analytics provides a unified
view of your firm’s sales metrics,
bringing together all the
data necessary for ongoing visibility and analysis of
your selling performance.
The combination of an ad
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A Hands-On Guide for Sales Managers
your sales team
Based on
an interview
Robert Nadeau
Well Worth the Price
Robert Nadeau explains how to defend your price during hard times
In today’s difficult economic climate, customers
are more price-sensitive than ever before.
Unless you can justify, in terms of dollars and
cents, the economic value of your offering, you
leave the customer no choice but to view your
offering as just another commodity. As a result,
you’ll end up competing on price, and whoever
discounts the most – whether it’s you or your
competition – will get the business. You might
get the sale with the lowest price, but it will
hurt your company’s bottom line, and it will
also give the customer a false perception of
what your offering is worth.
However, if you can show how your offering
uniquely creates economic value, buying from
you can become a key element of your customer’s strategy for coping with an economic
downturn. In that case, the price of your offering
becomes unimportant compared to the economic value that your offering creates, and your
offering can easily command a premium price.
This article is based upon a
conversation with and materials
provided by Robert Nadeau,
managing principal of the
Industrial Performance Group,
a company that provides sales
training and consulting for
manufacturers and distributors
to increase sales volume and
profitability. He can be reached at
Industrial Performance Group.
Tel: 1-800-867-2778
Why Customers Focus on Price
In order to defend your price, you first need to
know why customers focus on it. Customers make
purchases to solve problems, but they become
obsessed with price because they’re not aware of
the true cost and scope of these problems.
In some firms (typically start-ups), decision makers are often more interested in
working in their business than on their
business. They would prefer to avoid the
difficult labor of examining cost structures
in favor of doing what they love to do.
In other firms (typically midsize), decision makers have too much information
and not enough time to understand it.
When they make recommendations on
what to buy, they know they’ll get less flack
if they propose the lowest price.
In still other firms (typically large enterprises), buying decisions have been moved
to purchasing, which is specifically mandated to purchase things at the lowest
price, even if the low price turns out to
be a false economy.
Unfortunately, many sales professionals
have been trained in sales techniques that
keep customers focused on price. Sales
training typically focuses on features and
benefits that are to be presented to the customers. But because customers lack the perspective to understand the true cost of their
own problems and the underlying causes,
they glom onto the one number that they
can easily understand, which is price.
against each other to achieve a price that is
as low as possible.
Here are three tips to help ensure that you can defend
your price.
Why Price Is Often Irrelevant
Sell, don’t tell. When you’re talking, you’re not selling.
You’re only selling when you are listening, so your main
job is to ask questions and then listen. Remember:
When you pitch features and benefits, it forces the customer to focus on price.
Focus the questions. Never ask questions that don’t
lead the customer to better understand your value
proposition. Anything else is a distraction. Remember: If
the problems that you can’t solve become the focus of
your discussion, you’ll probably lose the sale.
Talk to the right person. In most cases, your most
important contact is the operational manager who is
chartered to make money or reduce expense. Remember: While the purchasing department may have the
authority to give the go-ahead, it isn’t responsible for
making money or solving problems.
Therefore, if two companies are offering
similar products, and the customer
believes that the product will solve a problem, it only seems logical to the customer
to bargain down and play the competitors
ndable M.
s from S
gift card
When the true cost of a problem is fully
uncovered, the price of the solution frequently becomes irrelevant. For example,
there’s no question that the price of a
motorcycle is less than that of an automobile, although both will get you from here
to there. However, if you’re transporting
children, the importance of the lower price
dwindles into insignificance when compared to the safety of the children.
The same is true in B2B sales. On the
surface, it often seems as if two B2B products perform an identical function. However, no two competitive products are
exactly alike, and those differences always
have the potential to reveal different cost
issues with the customer’s operation. It
is the job of the B2B sales rep to uncover
the cost issues that will cause price concerns to dwindle into insignificance.
For example, imagine two order-processing systems that have the same features and benefits, but one has a price that’s
half as much as the other. The price-focused
customer will naturally purchase the lowerpriced system. However, if the lower-priced
system goes “down for maintenance” three
times more often than the higher-priced
system, sales reps will experience a greater
number of times when they can’t cut an
order. If that causes them to lose milliondollar sales, the lower price of the less reliable system is a false economy.
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Almost every product offer has some economic value above and beyond the acquisition price of the core product. Your job is
to uncover this economic value in such a
way that customers easily understand why
a higher price is justified.
What is economic value? It is the total
monetary worth of your offer from the
customers’ perspective. It stems from your
core product in addition to the information, services, and support that are provided to the customers before, during, and
after the sale. However, because the customers do not realize the economic value
of your offer, you must help them to
understand how your offering improves
performance, reduces overall costs, and/or
reduces exposure to risk and liability.
Value-based selling is about focusing cusq continued on page 50
At Your Next Sales Meeting
Below are 14 practical steps to help your team defend its solution’s price during
difficult economic times. This meeting should take approximately two hours.
1. Prior to the meeting, set up the meeting room
in a standard classroom style. Make sure that
there is a large flip chart, pens, and tape to hang
pages from the chart on the walls.
2. Open the meeting on a positive note. Tell the
team that you will be working on defending the
price of your offering so that your company
continues to be profitable, even during difficult
economic times.
3. Using examples from your own experience,
explain how bad economic times create opportunities for companies that can help other
companies cope with a downturn. Explain how
companies that do so can not only make sales
but also command a premium price, because
the price is insignificant compared to the economic value to the customer.
4. Have team members take out their notebooks.
Ask them to list every feature of your firm’s offering that can either create sales for the customer or reduce the customer’s operational
costs. Go around the room and have each team
member volunteer a feature. Record these features on the flip chart.
5. Continue until you’ve filled a page of the flip
chart. Number the items and label this page “A.”
Tear off the page and tape it to the wall for future reference.
6. Ask the team members to list the ways that
access to the sales rep or the firm frees up the
customer’s time and reduces the customer’s
workload, e.g., access to the rep to solve a problem, inventory that can be shipped quickly to the
customer, specialized information available only
from your firm. As before, record these features
on the flip chart.
7. Continue until you’ve filled a page of the flip
chart. Number the items and label this page “B.”
Tear off the page and tape it to the wall for future reference.
8. Ask the team members to list all the services that your firm supplies that might either
save the customer time and money or reduce
the customer’s operational costs, e.g., technical
support, conversion services, shipping services, etc. As before, record these features.
9. Continue until you’ve filled a page of the flip
chart. Number the items and label this page
“C.” Tear off the page and tape it to the wall for
future reference. You should now be 20 minutes into the meeting.
10. Ask the team to list all the problems that
any combination of the items on “A,” “B,” and
“C” can solve. As before, go around the room
and gather suggestions from the team, recording the suggestions on a flip chart until the
page is filled.
11. With the help of the team, identify the top
three problems that are most likely to have a
major financial impact on your customers. It is
not necessary to know the exact impact, only
that the impact would be relatively larger than
the other problems.
12. For those top three problems, have the
team identify items on the other three flipchart pages that address those problems, e.g.,
“Problem: lost inventory. A1, B5, C2.”
13. For each problem, brainstorm with the team
to formulate a short series of questions that will
help the customer begin to understand the cost
of that problem, e.g., Do you experience some
lost inventory? What’s the economic cost of that
loss? Would you like me to help you find out
how much is being lost?
14. Close the meeting with enthusiasm. Thank
the team for participating and make a commitment to revisit these questions and get reports
on how they worked in real selling situations.
To quantify how customers will benefit economically from your offering, answer the
following five questions:
1. CAN I HELP THEM IMPROVE REVENUE? If you can, how much more product could
they sell, and how much is that worth to them?
2. CAN I HELP THEM REDUCE COSTS? If you can, how much could they save in
terms of labor costs, overhead, etc.?
3. CAN I HELP THEM IMPROVE QUALITY? If you can, how much could they save in
terms of reworks, scrap, overtime, corrective-action costs, etc.?
could they save in terms of cancelled orders, expediting costs, airfreight charges, etc.?
much could they save in terms of penalties and litigation?
Use the space
below to make your
own notes on
defending prices.
qcontinued from page 48
tomers on this economic value.
The majority of business purchases are made
to solve some sort of problem, e.g., productivity
problems, delivery problems, quality problems,
etc. These problems consume resources and
drive costs within a customer’s organization.
Depending on their size and sophistication level,
customers may – or may not – be aware of the
true economic impact of these problems. Therefore, the first step in the economic justification
sales process is to identify the problem the customer is working to resolve, then to determine
how much this problem is actually costing. You
want to uncover accurate dollars-and-cents information in order to quantify the total economic
worth of your offer.
Next you need to determine the root causes
of the customer’s problem. This will enable
you to provide a long-term solution that will
create more economic benefit, and it will also
allow you to increase the total economic worth
of your offer.
You must then look for opportunities in
which you can help the customer address
these root causes, either with your product
offering alone or with a combination of your
product and additional information or services
and support, such as problem solving, application engineering, start-up assistance, etc.
How to Uncover Economic Value
You uncover economic value by asking questions
that gradually reveal the true cost of the customer’s problems. This is very different from the
traditional sales process – a sales pitch intended
to present features and benefits, overcome objections, and then close the deal. Instead, you
research your customer and craft questions that
will uncover areas in which the customer does
not yet understand the cost of a problem:
REP: Do you have downtime as the result of
inventory problems?
REP: What is the economic impact of those
problems on your firm’s bottom line?
PROSPECT: I don’t know exactly.
REP: May I help you figure that out?
PROSPECT: That would be useful.
You then work with the customer to flesh out
the economic cost of the problem, limiting the
discussion to those costs that your offering
addresses, with an emphasis on those costs that
your offering uniquely addresses.
If you do this correctly, the customer will focus
on the costs of the problems you’re solving, rather
than the price of your product. In many cases,
the costs will be so great that the difference
between your offering’s price and those of your
competitors will become irrelevant.
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The class is designed for people who are looking to
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“The techniques taught in this class are especially
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The sales professional class is offered at an introductory
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A (secret) formula that can work
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“Our job as coaches is to keep people focused and motivated,” says Rick Peterson, peak-performance expert and former pitching coach for the New York Mets and Oakland A’s. “Coaches
don’t just hope for the best, they proactively identify the skills it takes for athletes to perform at
their highest levels and then train them, mentally as well as physically.”
Peterson started out as a pitcher himself, but while getting a college degree in psychology,
he realized he was more interested in applying behavioral science to sport. During his time
with the Mets and the A’s, he helped a number of pitchers – Pedro Martinez, Barry Zito, Tim
Hudson, Mark Mulder, Johan Santana, Tom Glavine, and Roger Clemens – achieve peak performance. His successes were chronicled in two books, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an
Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton & Co., 2003) and John Feinstein’s Living on the
Black: Two Pitchers, Two Teams, One Season to Remember (Back Bay Books, 2009). Peterson later
joined New Jersey-based Spring Lake Technologies as an advisor and speaker, and he’s now
bringing his “pitching professor” principles to the business world.
In the process of analyzing what separates a good pitcher from a great pitcher, Peterson
developed the Peak Performance Triangle. The first two sides of the triangle, which represent skills and competencies and physical conditioning, are self-explanatory, but the third
side, representing performance-based behaviors, is the often-overlooked psychological part
of the game – the mental and emotional skills that allow an athlete to climb from mere competence to peak performance.
“The great thing about the triangle is that you can plug it in to any career, whether you’re
a Broadway star, a teacher, a baseball pitcher, or a salesperson,” says Peterson. “In terms of
business, people understand that they must have certain skills and competencies, but they
often overlook the part that physical conditioning plays. Great salespeople speak well, present
themselves well, and can meet the deadlines and demands and handle the travel schedule.
There’s also an aura that physically conditioned people have that goes beyond how they look.
They give off a feeling of, ‘I’m here with a purpose. I’m sure of myself.’”
But much of Peterson’s work has gone into defining and delineating the third part of the triangle – the performance-based behaviors. “We know that successful people have certain personality traits,” he says. “They don’t lose focus, they don’t become demotivated. When
something slows them down, they take a deep breath and get back on task.”
Are some people just born with these traits? Yes, but Peterson stresses that they can also be
developed, something he’s experienced in his own life. In college, he became anxiety-ridden
before baseball games and realized that “the hardest thing about baseball wasn’t developing the
The job of a coach is not
to provide the “rah-rah,” but to help
a player develop strengths and mitigate
weaknesses. The job of a sales manager,
who also coaches the team, is the same.
Properly prepared sales reps don’t freeze up
on calls, feel confident in any situation, and
are able to think on their feet because
the coach has prepared them well
for the game.
skills, it was developing performance-based behaviors, such as
being well-disciplined, self-motivated, diligent, and understanding how to overcome fear and doubt.” He saw that “the top
performers had a mental state that allowed them to stay composed under pressure.”
Peterson began to study the personality factors that correlated
with peak performance on the field and quickly realized that his
program had a similar application in the business world. “Some
managers concentrate so hard on helping people develop their
skills that they overlook a key part of coaching, i.e., understanding how their salespeople think and act under pressure. And they
often simply don’t know what personality traits to look for and
how to measure them. For example, peak performance occurs
when subjects are at about a seven on a one-to-ten scale of
relaxed to driven. They’re engaged in the process but not so
much that it overwhelms them.”
Sometimes managers fail to understand this. They hire
extremely intense personality types who don’t know how to modify that intensity, and then they wonder why these “players”
come apart in the field.
Peterson’s move to Spring Lake Technologies was a natural
one, since Spring Lake’s SmartSeries applications provide specific
coaching to leadership teams on how to create change based on
behavioral science. SmartHiring helps you avoid expensive hiring
mistakes by determining if that sales candidate who looks so
great on paper actually has the right stuff to do the job. SmartProfiling shows where you stand with existing staff by isolating
the dominant behavioral traits for each person and helping managers understand why employees are performing at their present
Believe it or not, there’s a science
behind the profitable productivity of
your power players. Read all about it in
“How Peak Performers Win More Sales,”
that works for all situations, because no two sales professionals
are identical, just as no two pitchers are alike. And each buyer is
like a new batter at the plate who has different stats and therefore
needs a different approach. The managers are the ones who
must bring the objectivity, the fresh read, the ability to see the situation as it’s unfolding. They might say something like, ‘Slow
down and give this guy more details,’ or ‘If you want to connect
with this person, here’s the way to do it.’”
And in tough economic times, when a salesperson might feel
like a pitcher losing his control, an objective read from an
involved manager is even more valuable. “When it comes to
sales calls, you’re not going to succeed every time,” says Peterson.
“In economies in which people are nervous, there’s even less
room for error. By identifying the behaviors that allow people to
“Most people have to fall on their face before they
realize they need to make a change, but
winners change even when things are going well.”
level. And SmartSelling shows salespeople how to modify their
behavior to better align with each prospective client.
Even after the right people have been hired and analyzed, the
manager/coach’s job isn’t over. Peterson points out that baseball is
one of the few sports that allow a coach to stop the action and talk to
a player in the middle of the game. “When a coach runs on the field
to talk to a pitcher,” Peterson says, “he has maybe thirty seconds to
redirect what that person is doing. It’s a step-by-step process, just like
in sales, so a manager has multiple opportunities to talk to sales reps
and help them see the changes they need to make.
“There’s a balance to it. You can’t say, ‘Here, give me the ball
and I’ll do it for you.’ Nor can you say, ‘You’re on your own out
there.’ An ideal manager realizes that there’s no one prototype
Motivational Moment:
Talent is good.
But preparation is KEY.
perform and giving your sales reps solid feedback throughout the
process, you can coach people through hard times and help
them overcome fear and doubt.”
Savvy managers/coaches can also help their team go from
good to great. One of the performance-based behaviors that peak
athletes demonstrate is a willingness to make adaptations before
they’re required to do so. Peterson cites the case of Tiger Woods
who, just after winning the Masters by 12 strokes, decided to
revamp his game. “Not many people would have seen it that
way,” says Peterson. “Most people have to fall on their face before
they realize they need to make a change, but winners change
even when things are going well.”
Of course, everyone isn’t a Tiger Woods, which is where coaching comes in. In 2005 Tommy Glavine had stalled out. “His game
was outdated and he was really struggling,” says Peterson. “He had
won 260 games by pitching a certain way, and when we first presented him the information that the batting average against his type
of pitching was 400, of course he didn’t want to hear it. There are
also salespeople who don’t want to hear that they need to change
their game, but when we showed Tommy the hard data about the
level of success he could have with a different kind of pitch, he was
willing to redesign his plan. He turned his game around and went
on to be on the all-star team for the next two years.”
All this goes against the old school “rah-rah” type of management, which is peppered with phrases such as, “If it’s not broke,
don’t fix it,” but Peterson believes that great managers, like great
coaches, fix things before they break. “Leaders make proactive
changes, as opposed to reactive changes,” he says. “And those
changes are most often needed in the third side of the triangle. I
can’t tell you how many pitchers I coached over the years who
had the first two parts of the triangle down. They had skills and
physical conditioning, but they still couldn’t tap their full potential because they lacked the performance-based attitudes.”
Peterson believes that the single most valuable performancebased behavior is a willingness to follow a process. Once while he
was running a sports psychology seminar in Chicago, he realized
that Michael Jordan, who at the time was playing baseball, was in
the group. Jordan approached Peterson afterward and said that he
was fascinated by the idea of performance-based behaviors and
that for years he had done all these things instinctively.
“I asked him at what moment he knew he could be Michael
Jordan,” says Peterson. “In other words, when did he know he
could be not just good, but great. He told me a story much like
the Tiger Woods story, about a time in college when his basketball
coach Dean Smith showed him game footage and helped him
see that he’d had a good year but not a great year. He said his
coach explained that for him to be great, he was going to have to
prepare at an incredibly high level.
“Talent alone is never going to be the difference. What separates the peak performer is preparation. People at the absolute top
of their game – the MVPs, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods –
they don’t focus on outcome, and neither do great salespeople.
They focus on process.”
For more information on the SmartSeries sales application
software, visit For information on Rick
Peterson, visit •
What’s Holding You Back from
Being a Peak Performer?
Even if you don’t have much of a fastball, you can use
Rick Peterson’s Peak Performance Triangle to analyze
your game – your selling game, that is. In order to identify the areas that need improvement, Peterson suggests
you go through these steps:
Look at the “skills and competencies” side of the triangle, and then list the skills that the peak performers in
your field demonstrate. Absolute command of the product? The ability to read a client’s needs? Great networking? Then evaluate yourself on each of these skills using
a scale from 1 (most competent) to 5 (least competent).
Next check out the “physical conditioning” side of the
triangle and consider what’s needed to be a peak performer. Are you at a healthy weight? Getting enough
sleep? In control of your drinking, if you drink at all? Able
to withstand the travel schedule? Have you given up
smoking? Do you have any existing medical conditions,
such as diabetes, and if so, how well are you handling
them? Rate yourself from 1 to 5.
Now consider the trickiest part of the triangle: the performance-based behaviors. What personality traits and
attitudes do the peak performers in your field demonstrate? Persistence? Calmness? Risk tolerance? Objectivity? A willingness to take responsibility for mistakes?
Rate yourself on this.
Finally, go back to all three areas and consider how a
supervisor or teammate would evaluate you on each quality. “It’s not enough to just have the quality, you have to
consistently demonstrate it to others,” says Peterson.
“When Frank Thomas came up from the minor leagues to
the majors,” says Peterson, “we asked him to name a
player in the major leagues whose success level he would
like to emulate and list exactly what that player was doing.
A salesperson can follow the same process. Think about the
peak performers you know, and try to break down exactly
why they are peak performers – what skills they have, how
they’re managing all areas of their lives, and what performance-based behaviors they’re demonstrating. Once you
begin to analyze what they’re doing, you’ll quickly see where
you’re falling short and where you need to improve.”
How to be sure
you’re safe after a
sales rep leaves
your flanks
When a sales rep walks out the door for the
last time, sales managers must be sure that
the company’s clients and contacts stay inhouse. While that may not be easy to accomplish in reality, there are ways to prepare and
protect your vital customer base from an
unleashed rep. The experts in this article give
you concrete steps for keeping accounts
under lock and key. By Lain Chroust Ehmann
If you remember the “You’re
fired!” scene from the movie
Jerry Maguire, you’ll recall Jerry’s first move before he heads
for the door. He retreats to his office, where he engages in a
frantic dialing-for-dollars battle with his former protégé, to
scoop up as many clients as he can to form his own agency.
Sales managers reading this may think this is merely the
stuff of Hollywood, that their own customer bases are protected by noncompete clauses or the unimpeachable character of reps past and present. But been-there-been-burned
managers will tell you that client-base looting by recently
canned and bitter sales reps can and does occur, with or without legal protection.
One sales manager still has the scars from when a recently
released rep went straight to a competitor. The company didn’t
have a noncompete agreement in place, believing that such
agreements mean little in court (see The Expert Says). Suddenly, this former rep was worming his way into key accounts
– but the trouble didn’t stop there. The competitor started a
full-court press to recruit other reps, calling virtually every
salesperson on the 100-person staff from unpublished numbers and offering great employment opportunities. It took a
couple of strongly worded letters from the legal department to
both the competitor and the former rep to get them to stop
their underhanded techniques.
Fired Up!
Don’t rely on noncompete
Have a transition plan in hand.
The mistake many managers make when firing salespeople is
focusing on the short-term emotional aspects of the termination
while ignoring the long-term legal and business implications. As
a result, nightmare situations like this one can occur.
“Eliminating salespeople can send a shock wave through an
organization,” says human resources consultant Ann Robbins.
Formerly senior vice president with an HR consulting firm,
Robbins has laid off or terminated literally tens of thousands of
people. She says that firings don’t have to be horrible, insomniainducing occurrences. You can terminate reps quickly and effectively while maintaining the dignity of the person you’re
releasing and protecting the company’s assets. Here’s how:
Plan ahead.
“I have experienced numerous situations when things went
awry. The terminations that go the best are the ones where
preparation and planning have occurred,” says Robbins. Consider such elements as timing (do you have a big product launch
or other corporate announcement that will affect your decision?); staffing levels (are you better off with a short-timer or a
hole in your organization chart?); and exactly when, where, and
how you are going to break the news. Bob King, a Californiabased labor and employment attorney and founder of Legally
Nanny, agrees. “Above all, managers should avoid ‘losing it’
and firing a salesperson on the spur of the moment. Consultation and planning are critical here.”
Define your reasons.
Clarify whether you are firing or laying off due to downsizing; each
category has distinct protocols, says Robbins. In either case, “the
reason for termination must be made perfectly clear, and it is
usually best to have everything documented in writing,” she says.
Get advice.
Before you begin steps to terminate any salesperson, discuss the
situation with your HR administrator. He or she will review
the situation, brief you on procedures, and assist you in the
details of the operation. “It is important that all state as well as
federal guidelines are followed,” states Robbins. Remind the
salesperson of any separation agreement existing between the
company and salesperson, and reiterate at the time of termination that you are following company and legal guidelines. Your
HR contact may want to bring in a labor and employment law
attorney for specific cases.
Act decisively.
When it comes time to let a rep go, the plug must be pulled
quickly and completely. Giving a poor performer or poisonedapple salesperson chance after chance does nothing but confuse the
issue and send the message that you are a wishy-washy manager
who can’t hold the line. Still in doubt? Ask any manager what the
biggest mistake they made in firing a problem salesperson was, and
nine times out of 10 they’ll say they wish they had acted sooner.
Be clear.
“The message must be clear, concise, and communicated as a final
decision,” says Robbins. “This is not a time to engage in debate or
dig into performance issues,” she explains. The time has passed to
attempt to rectify the situation. Your goal now is simply to sever the
relationship completely, legally, and respectfully.
“Eliminating salespeople can send a shock
wave through an organization.”
Most sales managers give little thought to protecting the company’s assets, such as customers,
product information, etc. After all, that’s what the stiffs in the legal department are for, right?
While the legal technicalities of noncompete clauses and the like fall under the purview of the
lawyers, everyone on staff has a responsibility to safeguard the company. Here are the basics of
what you need to know:
CLOSE THE BARN DOOR BEFORE THE HORSE LEAVES. The time to consider all the implications of a termination is before you’ve let someone go. If you wait until after he or she is out the
door with a laptop full of critical business and prospect info, the damage is already done. Start laying groundwork for a smooth and painless departure early in the employment process, even if you
can’t imagine ever losing this salesperson.
NONCOMPETE CLAUSES MAY NOT BE ENFORCEABLE. The efficacy of a noncompete clause
depends almost entirely on the state in which the company and salesperson are located. Some
states – California, for example – are well-known for their reluctance to enforce noncompetes, while
others (Florida and New Jersey, to name two), are more willing to protect a company’s legitimate
business interest, says April Boyer, a labor and employment attorney with K & L Gates, an international law firm in Miami.
NONSOLICITS MAY BE A BETTER OPTION. Nonsolicit agreements are covenants restricting the
right of the former salespeople to solicit business from the company’s existing customer base.
“The majority of states, even those that will not enforce a noncompete, will enforce a nonsolicit
agreement,” says Boyer.
AND DON’T FORGET THE NONDISCLOSURE, TOO. Boyer strongly urges companies to
have their salespeople sign a nondisclosure provision, as well. “Require all salespersons with
access to the company’s confidential agreements, i.e., price lists, customer files, financial information, to execute a nondisclosure agreement,” she explains.
DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME! As with most things involving contracts and binding agreements,
there is a multitude of loopholes, legalities, and technicalities. Before you try a do-it-yourself job,
bring in the lawyers. Not only can he or she advise you on the termination process, “the lawyer will
review the salesperson’s file and determine what ongoing duties the salesperson owes the
company, i.e., agreement not to compete, agreement not to disclose confidential information,
agreement not to solicit customers or salespersons,” Boyer says.
King adds, “It is critical that a manager handle the termination not only legally, but professionally and with dignity.” In
today’s world of company-bashing blogs and industry-wide
chat rooms, he explains, you don’t want to become the next
name on the World Wide Web list of lousy salespersons or
companies to work for.
Make a transition plan.
As soon as the decision has been made to release a salesperson, immediately create a transition plan for that rep’s
accounts, clients, and territory. “Once the termination is
done, enact the transition plan immediately,” says Robbins.
While there will occasionally be a case in which a client will
choose to stay with the departing rep, “most clients simply
want to know their needs will be met and someone will take
care of them,” Robbins continues. The best way to reassure
anxious clients is to immediately reach out to them, let them
know who their new contact is and that they will continue to
receive the same excellent level of service.
Review your noncompete agreement.
Noncompete clauses – even when agreed to by the salesperson at
the time of employment – are not always enforceable. Your best
bet? Go over your options with your HR department, but don’t rely
solely on the law to make sure your interests are protected. Design
and implement a strong transition plan that will assure your customers that their interests will be best served by staying with your
company, not by leaving with their former salesperson.
Communicate with the “survivors.”
After you’ve successfully terminated a salesperson, you may be
tempted to put the past behind you, go out for a stiff drink, and
excise the released salesperson from your memory. But elephants – and sales teams – never forget. Long after your exit
interview is but a bad memory, your remaining team members
will be conjecturing and spreading rumors as to why Joe Salesman was shown the door.
Never assume you can predict the reaction.
“Time and time again, I’ve seen the ‘problem’ salesperson exit
gracefully and the easygoing ‘model’ salesperson go ballistic,”
says Robbins. “Don’t prejudge or think you know ahead of time
what will happen. Most people will handle the news with professionalism and a reasonable amount of self-control. But it is
important to prepare for the worst and have a plan. Know what
you will do if something unexpected happens.” •
Scenario #1:
A United Kingdom-based industrial controls maker
announces that salespeople in its US subsidiary are
funneling bribes to customers through independent
agents in order to win contracts. Its stock value drops
almost 10 percent as soon as this news is disclosed,
and the company estimates that the internal
investigation alone will cost about $10 million.
Scenario #2:
The head of sales for a California software company
is indicted for creating secret side agreements with
customers that include future financial concessions.
The result: Two years’ worth of corporate revenue
is falsely inflated by as much as 17 percent, causing
investors to lose more than $40 million.
Sales executives at three companies in the packaged-ice
industry are accused of splitting territories among
themselves in a price-fixing scheme. The companies
face more than 70 class-action lawsuits, as well as
investigations by the US Department of Justice Antitrust
Division and the attorneys general of 19 states and
the District of Columbia.
What do you think happened to the sales managers
who ran these teams? It couldn’t have been pretty.
What if it were you?
Scenario #3:
How to make sure your sales team isn’t
could bring your job [and your company] to
Main idea:
Of all the ways a sales force
can take down a company,
three major deceitful practices
deceitful practices
Of all the ways a sales force
can take down a company, three
major deceitful practices stand
out above all others. They are
bribery, side agreements, and
price-fixing. These alone have
accounted for more failed sales
efforts and legal action with
significant financial consequences
than any other behaviors. So
before your sales force puts your
company at risk, read this article
and take heed.
By Theodore Kinni
engaging in risky sales behavior that
a screeching halt
THESE THREE recent scenarios aren’t
exceptional; there are many – and often more
costly – examples of crimes involving sales.
But they are notable for the kinds of behavior they describe: bribery, side agreements,
and price-fixing. These are the Big Three
risks when it comes to sales wrongdoing,
according to Richard Cellini, senior VP of
business and legal affairs for Integrity Interactive Corporation, a Boston-based provider
of online ethics and compliance programs.
How big are the Big Three risks? “They
can be company killers,” declares Cellini.
“Of the big enterprise risks, ethics and compliance risks are actually the only ones that
can literally kill or seriously damage your
company overnight. You get attacked from
all sides by regulators, law enforcement,
the media, shareholders, and your business
partners. By the time your company’s name
is in the headlines, it’s too late.”
Few companies are immune to the Big
Three, which carry penalties that span
geographic boundaries. “We
are Pressure
in a period ofto
strict and
numenforcement,” says Cellini, “and that is a
phenomenon. The European Union
is doing
some to
in Asia
are doing
it, and
of Amerthe table.
ica is devoting very heavy resources to it.”
Bribery was once an accepted business
practice. For example, as recently as 1998,
Germany’s tax code allowed companies to
Pressure to make
the numbers can
lead to payoffs
under the table.
deduct bribes paid to foreign officials as a
legitimate business expense. But today, even
though there are nations such as
Afghanistan, Somalia, and Haiti in which
such payments remain commonplace, laws,
including the US Foreign Corrupt Practices
Act, and international agreements, including
the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention and the
United Nations Convention against Corruption, which was signed by 140 nations,
prohibit companies from offering bribes.
The same kinds of near-ubiquitous rules
apply to secret side agreements and pricefixing. Secret side agreements – crimes
involving fraudulent records management
– inhibit financial transparency, which is
mandated by laws such as the SarbanesOxley Act. Price-fixing, which includes
such practices as bid-rigging, is prohibited
under antitrust laws such as the Sherman
In 2008, German engineering giant Siemens AG became the poster company for salesrelated crime when it admitted that for years it had routinely paid bribes to win public
works contracts around the world. In fact, the company institutionalized bribery on a massive scale, essentially making it a standard part of the sales process.
Siemens, like many other companies, had been routinely making payments to foreign
officials to win contracts long before such payments became illegal. The problem at
Siemens, however, was that when the rules of the game changed and so-called “facilitating payments” became bribes, it didn’t change its behaviors.
Instead, the company’s businesses continued to pay bribes to win contracts in Argentina, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Israel, India, China, Russia, Mexico, and a host of other countries. It also began a concerted effort to hide these activities, which it accomplished by
hiring external contractors as conduits for the bribes and creating slush funds in offshore
banks to conceal the transactions. This system worked remarkably well; between 2001 and
2007, Siemens is alleged to have paid out $1.4 billion in illegal payments.
It was the scope of this activity that eventually caused the collapse of the scheme. During investigations of suspicious payments in several different countries, German authorities were alerted that a problem existed at Siemens. In November 2006, Siemens’s
offices and the homes of several executives were raided. In the process, authorities
scooped up Reinhard Siekaczek, an executive in Siemens’s telecommunications group who
had not only created the slush funds but also kept personal copies of the accounts’ transactions. Siekaczek told all.
In December 2008, Siemens pled guilty to corruption and agreed to pay a fine of $1.6
billion to German and US authorities – by far the largest such penalty ever paid. According to the New York Times, the company will pay another $1 billion in costs for “internal
investigations and reforms.” Further, 16 additional countries are now investigating
Siemens. Amazingly, it could have been far worse: The US fine could have been as high as
$2.7 billion, and if the company had been prosecuted for bribery rather than corruption,
it could have been barred from bidding on government contracts in the United States and
other countries.
Antitrust Act, the same legislation that was
used to break up the Standard Oil Company monopoly in 1911.
The sales function is particularly susceptible to the Big Three. “Most people think
that ethics and compliance problems can
only be created by a very small number of
people at the top – the CFO or the CEO.
But the single largest source of ethics and
compliance risk is actually in the sales
force,” says Cellini. “Again, it’s not because
salespeople are bad people; it’s just because
there are so many of them and their position
is so far forward into the market. Salespeople don’t have the luxury of just sitting
behind the corporate walls and staying out
of trouble. They are actively engaged with
customers and prospects and competitors.”
That means that at some point in their
careers most salespeople are likely to run
into someone like Ausaf Umar Siddiqui,
the former VP of merchandising and operations for Fry’s Electronics Inc., a 34-store
retail chain based in San Jose, CA. In
December 2008, Siddiqui was arrested for
allegedly embezzling more than $65 milDARRIN KLIMEK/DIGITAL VISION/GET TY IMAGES
lion from the chain to pay off huge losses
he incurred while gambling in Las Vegas.
According to the federal indictment, the
purchasing executive set up a shell company named PC International and then
“awarded contracts to vendors who secretly agreed to pay PC International based on
the amount of merchandise purchased by
Fry’s.” The vendors recouped these kickbacks by overcharging Fry’s by 30 percent
or more for their products.
There are two reasons why salespeople
can become entangled in such schemes:
First, they are always under pressure to produce deals. In tough economic times, that
pressure can become even more intense as
the company’s well-being and the salesperson’s job are increasingly tied to sales results.
“Because sales is such a performancedriven profession and because economic
hard times are with us again, there is a lot
of pressure on salespeople,” says Cellini.
“It just pushes them into harm’s way.
Salespeople are not bad people, they are
three ways, according Rudin and Cellini:
assess the risks; train the sales force; and
create an ethical sales culture, process,
and compensation system.
In an era when sales-related wrongdoing
can cost companies billions of dollars (see
When Crime Doesn’t Pay), leaders must
start thinking of their exposure in riskmanagement terms. The first step in this
process is assessment, and assessment
often starts with a survey that reveals the
attitudes and activities of the sales force.
“Sales managers owe it to themselves to
find out what their employees actually
believe, because the last thing you want to
do is stick your head in the sand,” says Cellini. “It’s asking really simple questions, such
as, ‘If times were really tough and we were
nearing the end of the quarter and you
found yourself at a bar with your competitor,
would it be okay to strike a gentlemen’s
agreement that you should compete on service and functionality rather than price?’ If a
lot of people answer yes to that question, it
help these people stay out of trouble.”
Finally, sales leaders mitigate the Big
Three risks by creating a sales culture and
infrastructure that supports ethical, legal
behaviors. This can be a difficult balancing
act when the main focus is winning the
sale, but nevertheless, balance is critical if
companies hope to avoid wrongdoing.
“Early in my career I saw quite a bit of
sales behavior that I would say pushed the
envelope of fair play. Not being forthcoming about product issues that might impact
the customer or failing to discount products when discounts were available or the
use of predatory selling tactics to manipulate customers into signing orders,” recalls
Rudin. “These are little things that become
embedded in a sales culture and add up
over time to high levels of risk.”
One key to creating a better balance,
according to Rudin, is to align the goals
and objectives of the sales force with positive outcomes for customers. For instance,
Rudin recently worked with a B2B soft-
“If you have risks, you should know about them.”
good people under unhealthy and potentially unconstructive pressures that are
produced by the economy.”
Second, salespeople are typically compensated based on the volume of business
they deliver, a reality that can unintentionally create a stimulus and reward for
wrongdoing. “In an aggressive sales environment where people are rewarded very
strongly for their revenue infusion, the
question of what is right becomes diverted
for other types of outcomes,” explains
Andrew Rudin, managing principal of
Vienna, Virginia-based sales consultancy
Outside Technologies Inc. and a veteran
account executive in the software industry.
“I have experienced this myself; when you
are in a sales environment that is highly
competitive internally, revenue often
becomes the top priority.
“It isn’t that somebody comes up with a
really focused scheme to deceive and to
undermine ethical business practices.
These schemes kind of creep out,” continues Rudin. “Somebody tinkers around a
little, realizes that the company seems to
reward that behavior, and then bumps it
up a little bit more. From what I have seen
of ethical lapses, that is more the rule than
the exception. Things tend to start small
and then they grow.”
How, then, can leaders responsible for
the sales function cope with the potential
for ethical and criminal wrongdoing? In
doesn’t mean they are bad, it just means
you’ve got risk. And if you have risks, you
should know about them.”
Once the exposures to ethical and criminal wrongdoing have been identified,
companies can begin to mitigate them.
Online training is the most widely used
means of risk mitigation. Integrity Interactive, for instance, trains two to three million people employed by 350 companies in
120 different countries annually.
“You train to remind people about the
risks,” says Cellini. “It’s not a skill set; we
are not trying to educate people. People
already know this stuff. They just need to
be reminded of it. It’s like those signs in
restaurants that read, ‘Employees must
wash their hands.’ So the number one
thing that companies do to mitigate these
risks is to train employees and remind
them on a regular basis.”
These reminders work, according to
Cellini, because it is estimated that only 2
or 3 percent of ethics and compliance violations are committed by people who seek
to profit from wrongdoing. Instead, the
vast majority of wrongdoing is undertaken
with good intentions.
“The other 97 percent think they are
helping their company. They went to that
meeting in the cafeteria where the CEO
said they should do everything they can to
make the numbers, and they are just trying
to help,” he says. “The goal of training is to
ware company that had modified its sales
compensation plan. Now, when customers
buy an enterprise software package, the
company measures the extent to which
they use each module in the package.
Salespeople are rewarded based on high
levels of usage but not on low levels, which
indicate that the corporate customer was
sold something that it did not need. Thus,
the compensation plan itself helps discourage unethical sales behavior.
“When an organization claims that it is
customer-centric but rewards its sales
force for volume revenue alone, it is
putting lipstick on a pig,” explains Rudin.
“Those objectives may be totally at odds.”
Of course, some degree of risk arising
from outright dishonesty and criminal
behavior will always exist but, as Rudin
says, “Yeah, that guy who robbed the house
down the street is a bad guy, but the homeowner also went away for a vacation and
didn’t stop the paper and left the back door
open. So clearly he found fertile ground.”
Conversely, companies that understand
their exposure to sales wrongdoing, train
their salespeople to avoid them, and support that work with rational sales systems
and processes can go a long way toward
mitigating the risks of the Big Three.
“Awareness reduces risk,” concludes Cellini.
“And if salespeople understand anything,
they understand risk, because they certainly take on a lot of it.” •
The 500 Largest
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Products, Ser vices, and Management Advice
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Remember the last time you were on the road and
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Businesses can even wrap entire vehicles in giant
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“Advertising has turned toward the big, bold,
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Surprise! Fleet Works Better Than Reimbursement
If a company employs a significant number of salespeople who must drive frequently to sell, it almost always makes
sense to adopt a fleet policy, rather than to
simply reimburse reps for their driving
expenses. Fleet policies give the company control over the appearance, reliability
and, at least partly, safety of sales driving.
And fleet policies do so much more
affordably, when all costs are counted, than reimbursement.
A fleet-management firm can advise a
company on the reliability of cars to be
leased and their likely resale value, maintenance costs, and insurance costs. Then
the fleet firm can handle all the administrative tasks – tracking mileage, registering vehicles, arranging for warranty work
and efficient repairs, ensuring adequate
insurance, and remarketing the cars at
lease end at the best value. Drivers or company clerks simply cannot perform these
tasks as well or as economically as experienced fleet managers who manage tens
of thousands of cars nationwide.
Reimbursement puts all these burdens
on drivers, an additional time requirement
for reps who should spend all their work
time selling. Reps do not have expertise in
managing cars. And they will have to completely document hundreds of little driving
expenses if they are to offset reimbursement with more than the IRS mileage rate,
which is usually an underestimate of their
full driving expense, at tax time.
Fleet firms can check drivers’ safety
records, arrange safe-driving lessons,
remind drivers when maintenance tasks
must be performed, find the best shops to
do the maintenance work, and arrange for
substitute vehicles when needed. By ensuring that sales cars are kept in good shape
and arranging resale on the best terms,
they cut the true cost of leasing cars to a
minimum. A fleet policy thus enables a
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vital aspect of sales operations according to
best practice.
materials, techniques, and technology,” says
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How well do you farm additional revenues
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Salesgenie gathers data from multiple sources
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Voice-Enabled Mobile Productivity
Ribbit for Salesforce, named Best Mobile
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Calls, voice memos, and voicemail flow
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Percentage of revenues generated
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Rep Sales
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Source: CSO Insights
OnStar Helps Managers,Too
For Sporting Reps
GM’s OnStar is made just for salespeople who must navigate complicated cities and
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address, complete with reminders to turn left or right at the necessary points. Just
how helpful is OnStar? When you see veteran cabbies using it, you know it’s good!
But OnStar does more than help reps. OnStar’s Business Vehicle Fleet
Manager helps fleet managers indeed. Each month, fleet managers receive reports on the odometer readings, how much oil is left in the vehicles, and any open
recalls on all their cars. They can thus keep precise mileage logs for their fleet
and make the most efficient plans for doing necessary maintenance.
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Bass Pro Shops gift cards will be prized by the
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Yummy for Tummies
Omaha Steaks gift cards come in denominations
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Rock Hard Rewards
Reps want relaxation wherever they go, whether
seeing far-flung prospects or on vacations. And
Hard Rock Café is in almost all the major cities
reps will visit, providing familiar sounds of home.
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Perspective on Customer Accounts
Traditional business information services
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You can take a very broad aim with Target,
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R & R Rewards
Dave & Buster’s has the food, relaxation, and
amusement opportunities that reps enjoy at 44
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available for $25 or $50 to purchase food,
drink, or games. For more information, visit
Universal Card
For the widest in choices, SVM supplies gift
cards for more than 90 famous brands, including Banana Republic, Blockbuster, and Wendy’s.
And SVM will set up your reward program –
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Flexibility Pays
American Express Gift Cards are great incentives
– convenient and flexible for winners and can be
redeemed at more than a million locations. And
managers can purchase up to $35,000 in card
value online. For more information, please visit
new solutions
for managers
Company Policies for Air-Transport
Incentives in 2009
Pay for airline
tickets only
Pay for all
air transportationrelated expenses
Pay for roundtrip
airport transfers
Planned Changes in Noncash
Incentives in 2009
award values
A Full Suite
Good Leads can do everything to close the deals. You can choose from a menu of options that
suit your company’s needs. It can build a selected list of leads, make the preliminary contacts
necessary to qualify leads and turn them into opportunities, and even deploy experienced business developers to conduct meetings and close deals.
Special services take over for companies that cannot support a big marketing push alone.
For example, Good Leads’s Response Builder manages and forwards to your reps all the
inbound inquiries from marketing campaigns, including calls, Web visits, emails, or chats, that
qualify as leads worth pursuing.
For more information, please visit
– Henry Canaday
Let Broadlook Do the Research
Include individual
travel as an option
Increase use of
debit and gift cards
Source: Incentive Research Foundation survey of 79 firms.
Percentages may total more than 100 percent because multiple
responses were allowed. (
Sales reps, especially hunters, need to find
new customers and new markets as the
economy shifts. But the best use of sales
time is selling, not searching for or
researching prospects. So Broadlook Technologies has developed what it calls a
“white-glove service” that takes lists
reps have started and goes deeper.
For example, if you need all the buyers at
firms that sell to a national retailer, Broadlook software will find these critical contacts and deliver them to you on the same
day. Or, if a salesperson is planning a visit
to a new city and needs all the companies
that make food products there, Broadlook
will find the companies and contacts.
Let Broadlook do the searching – and
save time for sales.
Find Real Decision Makers
Jigsaw is the perfect lead-generation tool. Jigsaw makes it easy for salespeople and marketers to find sales leads at any company, big
or small. From Fortune 500 businesses to
the small-to-medium businesses, Jigsaw
has sales leads at all levels and in any department. You can shorten your sales cycle by using
Jigsaw-generated sales leads, because every
lead is complete with title, phone number, and
email. Since all of the leads are member generated, they are more likely to be accurate and
up-to-date. Jigsaw gives your sales team the
tools it needs to bypass gatekeepers and get to
the real decision makers.
For more information, visit
The secret of life is
honesty and fair dealing.
If you can fake that,
you’ve got it made.
Groucho Marx
Make Sales Forecasts Fast and Scientific
Sad to say, but most companies take from four to eight weeks to generate a sales forecast! By
the time it’s done, it’s already out of date. And even if you could get that forecast sooner, it’s
probably just a collection of guesswork, without the details that would let you know what’s
changed and why so that you can do something to get the numbers back up. Right90 Sales
Forecasting and Revenue Performance Management provide deep insights into sales
forecasts as they change – and provide guidance on what steps to take.
For more information, visit
Deepen and Update Your
Prospecting Data
Turn Cold Calling into Power Selling
Cold calls are difficult enough to do well without all the hassle that surrounds the process. When
your sales reps are prospecting, you want them on the phone and talking to prospects, not fiddling
with the phone or negotiating with gatekeepers. ConnectAndSell delivers qualified sales prospects
to your team – and to the reps’ own phones – as quickly as your team can handle the calls. When
ConnectAndSell reaches a prospect, the prospect believes that your sales rep is the one who’s been
dialing. That way, your reps can focus on communicating...rather than just calling.
For more information, visit
Access Your PC from the Road
Let’s face it: Business travel is difficult enough without being away from the documents
and files that you need to close the deal. Citrix GoToMyPC lets you use your laptop to literally reach into your office or home PC and retrieve the information you need.
Because it uses the same kind of secure controls that allow applications to run on your
PC, your corporate firewall remains in place, even as you get the access that you need.
As a bonus, Citrix GoToMeeting lets you hold meetings online, whether you’re on the
road or at home base.
For more information, please visit
Get the Latest
ZoomInfo’s PowerSell searches the Web all day, every day to find the latest information on managers and professionals at companies of all sizes, from giant global corporations to the small
businesses around the corner. More than 3,000 firms now use ZoomInfo, including a fifth
of the Fortune 500, who are tapping this rich source of intelligence.
PowerSell lets you search by a person’s name, title, or company, and then you can deepen your understanding of prospect firms with profiles of the individuals you find, which
includes contact data. Advanced search tools let reps or marketers refine prospect lists by title,
location, and company size.
For more information, please visit
Are you looking for a fast and economical way to
get broad, correct, and the very latest contact
information on your top customers and hot
prospects? Broadlook Technologies’s Ellis software can deepen and update your CRM data.
Ellis scans everything available on the
Internet – finding new names, new titles, phone
numbers, and email and mailing
addresses for thousands of
companies – and then integrates all the new data
with your own data in
just 48 hours. Ellis
cleans up your data and
removes duplicates, just
like other data services,
but its real distinction is
capturing new data from the
Internet fast, according to
Broadlook CEO Donato Diorio. Moreover, each new contact is scored, based on Internet sources, to indicate its reliability.
Such companies as Intel and Wachovia have
used Broadlook software to update their lists.
Now Ellis makes the same functions available
as a service on what Diorio says will be very reasonably priced terms.
For more information, please visit
business development
Free Business Plan for Vets
PerfectBusiness is offering Writing a Business
Plan software, which normally costs $19.99 per
month, for free to military veterans. PerfectBusiness cofounder Dan Bliss believes veterans
deserve the support of businesses. “We will
do whatever we can to help veterans
achieve their personal goals,” Bliss says,
and he challenges banks and other businessservice providers to follow his lead.
Moreover, Bliss argues that military discipline and leadership skills are ideal qualities for
future entrepreneurs. “Veterans shouldn’t wait
for jobs and opportunities to come to them.
They should create their own opportunities.”
To learn more, interested veterans can fax
310/821-0133 or email [email protected] with their full name and verification of
military duty.
advertising index
Get free information from our advertisers.
Advertisers in Selling Power support you and your efforts. They have the
products and services you need to succeed in sales, and they will be more
than happy to send you the information you need to make considered
decisions. To get information on products, services, and companies
advertised in this issue, simply visit
This index is provided as a service to our readers.
The publisher assumes no liability for errors or omissions.
For more information, visit
Acclivus Corporation
OS SalesCo, Inc.
Incentives you can
sink your teeth into.
For more information, visit
Best Buy Gift Certificates
4, 72
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Raffles Hotels International
FrontRange Solutions/GoldMine
HR Chally Group
Hall-Erickson Inc.
Heartland Payment Systems
Marketo Inc.
Nelson Motivation
Performance Plus Marketing
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RCI Media
Rio Salado College
Sales Profile LLC
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Toyota Motor Sales
For more information, visit
Dow Jones
Omaha Steaks International
VISA Prepaid
Six ways
to close
more sales
Number of prospects captured
Number of prospects captured
Number of prospects captured
Number of prospects captured
Number of prospects captured
Number of prospects captured
Number of prospects captured
Number of prospects captured
to closing
to closing
to closing
to closing
to closing
to closing
to closing
to closing
Number of sales closed
Number of sales closed
Number of sales closed
Number of sales closed
Number of sales closed
Number of sales closed
Number of sales closed
Number of sales closed
Compare your sales activity to the
performance off a ffunnel. New
prospects enterr the sales cycle at the
top of the funnel and over time
become customers and closed sales.
Compare your sales activity to the
performance off a ffunnel. New
prospects enter the sales cycle att the
top of the funnel and over time
become customers and closed sales.
Compare your sales activity to the
performance off a ffunnel. New
prospects enter the sales cycle att the
top of the funnel and over time
become customers and closed sales.
Compare your sales activity to the
performance off a funnel.
prospects enter the sales cycle att the
top of the funnel and over time
become customers and closed sales.
Compare your sales activity to the
performance off a ffunnel. New
prospects enter the sales cycle att the
top of the funnel and over time
become customers and closed sales.
Compare your sales activity to the
performance off a ffunnel. New
prospects enter the sales cycle att the
top of the funnel and over time
become customers and closed sales.
Compare your sales activity to the
performance off a ffunnel. New
prospects enterr the sales cycle att the
top of the funnel and over time
become customers and closed sales.
Compare your sales activity to the
performance off a ffunnel. New
prospects enterr the sales cycle att the
top of the funnel and over time
become customers and closed sales.
To order your poster today, call 1-800-752-7355 or visit
18” x 24” poster only $15. Laminated: add $10.
to sell by
Edited by Liane DiStefano • Photo by Gerhard Gschwandtner
The fool wanders, a wise man travels.
Thomas Fuller
facing your fears
getting started
The way to develop self-confidence
is to do the thing you fear and
get a record of successful
experiences behind you.
William Jennings Bryan
It doesn’t matter where you start
as long as you have a road map
and consider every work day as
training along the way.
Deborah Steelman
There are always two voices
sounding in our ears: the voice
of fear and the voice of confidence.
One is the clamor of the senses,
the other is the whispering of
the higher self.
Charles B. Newcomb
You can start right where you
stand and apply the habit of going
the extra mile by rendering more
service and better service than you
are now being paid for.
Napoleon Hill
Looking for difference between
the more productive and less
productive organizations, we found
that the most striking difference
is the number of people who are
involved and feel responsibility for
solving problems.
Michael McTague
These things will destroy the human
race: politics without principle,
progress without compassion, wealth
without work, learning without
silence, religion without fearlessness,
and worship without awareness.
Anthony de Mello
If you don’t like the road you’re
walking, start paving another one.
Dolly Parton
The vision must be followed by the
venture. It is not enough to stare up
the steps; we must step up the steps.
Vance Havner
Part of being a winner is knowing
when enough is enough. You have
to give up the fight and walk away
and move on to something that’s
more productive.
Donald Trump
Productivity is never an accident. It
is always the result of a commitment
to excellence, intelligent planning,
and focused effort.
Paul J. Meyer
For more information, visit
Over 500,000 people around the world rely
on SugarCRM to gain a competitive edge
and lower IT costs.
Sugar active systems as of January 2009.
Copyright © 2009 SugarCRM, Inc. All rights reserved. SugarCRM and the SugarCRM
logo are registered trademarks of SugarCRM, Inc.. in the United States, the European
Union and other countries.
1.87SUGARCRM • +1.408.454.6941
W W W . S U G A R C R M . C O M / S P
For more information, visit

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