Infocusselling’s Blog

April 24, 2009

Sales Ethics and Professional Salespeople

Filed under: Uncategorized — Educated and Aware @ 2:06 pm
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There has been a lot in the news about unethical corporate behavior in the past few years. Most of it has been in the accounting area which was formerly considered the sacred ground of objectivity. CEO’s and CFO’s have been pummeled for their blind eye or intentional misrepresentations–and rightfully so.

What has this done for sales? The process of sales is rife with opportunity for unethical behavior and we are not hearing as much about it. Does that mean it is less frequent or is it being replaced by other ethical lapses? Here’s another blog dedicated to the conversation of sales ethics.
What are you seeing today as a seller or as a buyer? What is being requested or demanded? What do you do about it?

April 16, 2009

When Sales Are Down, Do We Really Want to Reduce the Team?

Ran across this great post from another smart person! Why when sales are down, do companies cut the size of the sales team?

Who is Running the Sales Effort?

If  you have the wrong players, that’s different. But this is MARKET SHARE time! Go take market share now, and as your industry turns, you will experience incredibly rapid growth.

April 6, 2009

Sales Management 2009: Even More Necessary Today

I was writing about sales management for this newsletter when I found others writing around the same topic. It looks like we are all onto something. This person talks about what is needed in a sales manager Hiring a Sales Manager.

Here is what you must get from your sales management function today:

  • strategic direction-how to create the maximum short and long term impact in your market in a niche that is underserved yet highly profitable
  • skills coaching and training-continually honing phone skills to get appointments and appointment skills to get commitments
  • performance mentoring-keeping salespeople motivated and working at their peak
  • feedback to top management-sales and marketing issues need to be fleshed out and communicated
  • ride along support-coaching the team in real time to get more commitments from more prospects.

The last numbers from Career Builder Salary Research showed that an average sales manager carries a salary over $85,000 and a top one costs over $130,000 plus benefits. For that kind of money, hold your sales manager accountable for results. What are they doing on each bullet point above? Every bullet point is critical-there’s no room for second rate today.

But what if your team is small and you can’t afford and don’t really need a 40-60 hour per week sales manager? Is the performance of your team any less important?

Even if you do not have a full time sales manager, someone needs to perform the functions listed above. Every sales team from 1 person to 1000 people needs direction and training. Several years ago I wrote about outsourcing as a strategy Outsourcing Inc. Today, outsourcing is more critical as companies look for ways to conserve cash yet have access the specific skills needed to grow a business. CRM Magazine wrote that outsourced sales training is more effective than internal sales training Outsourced Sales Training. It makes sense that a sales trainer who is engaged in full time training is going to be more effective than someone who does it 5-10% of the time.

ACTUM Group specializes in helping salespeople and sales teams reach and exceed their potential. If your team needs more direction and it seems to be missing the skills to get appointments and clients today, we should talk. We can provide sales management skills for the exact number of hours you need each week, without incurring the high overhead of full time employment. Call us at 577-3750 or email us at jeffbowe@actumgroup.com to tell us what you need to make this your best year yet.

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How Much Networking is Too Much Networking?

Is it possible to network too much? It depends. We’ve talked here before about how to network and where to network, but not about how much to network. Can you overdo it? Let’s go back to how networking is part of sales strategy and process.

Sales starts with identifying a prospect. For most people, networking is a way to avoid cold calling to identify prospects which is a pretty good reason to network. Cold calling will never be as effective as receiving a phone call from someone who got your name from a networking partner who said you were the person to solve their pressing need. Networking is a tactical way to meet prospects and contacts who can fill your schedule with pre-qualified prospects who want to talk with you.

We network to start the sales process, not get in the way of it. I had a client tell me one time that he was too busy networking to set sales appointments. That’s backwards and very dangerous. You should network as much as it takes to meet enough people to fill your sales schedule—and no more. If you are networking so much that you cannot follow up in a timely fashion, then you are probably not taking advantage of maximizing your new contacts. If you are having trouble fitting sales calls in between your networking meetings, then you are definitely putting the emphasis on the wrong activity. Remember, we network to meet prospects and contacts because without them, it’s really hard to make that monthly sales quota.

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