Infocusselling’s Blog

November 29, 2009

2010 Fast Track Sales Training for Doctoral Project

Filed under: Uncategorized — Educated and Aware @ 10:07 pm
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Along with all of my consulting and training, I am well into a doctorate in marketing with a research emphasis of sales process and sales ethics. For one of my projects, I am looking for 15 sales people who want or need to increase their 2010 sales results and are willing to invest about 3 hours a week for fifteen weeks–2 hours in class and about an hour a week of homework related to sales.

Update as of Jan 4t–only 3 seats left! 15 weeks starting NOW!

This special program carries special pricing and focused content from our regular full blown sales training program.

We will cover:

DISC Communication Styles (how to read people)

Networking (how to get attention and get people to want to meet with you)

Telephone Strategies (how to get calls returned and appointments set)

The Seven Steps of the INFOCUS Selling Process:

  • Introduction
  • Name your Purpose
  • Find a Goal
  • Outline a Goal
  • Crystallize Gains and Losses
  • Uncover Blocks and Obstacles
  • Secure Final Commitment

Selling with a structured process is faster and considerably more profitable.

If you or someone you know is looking to increase your 2010 sales and personal income, this is a rare opportunity for you to take part in professional sales training that combines high level marketing with street level sales tactics that reflect today’s markets and today’s relationships.

Call me or email me for full details. We are starting now and the program completes on April 15th so act fast.

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October 19, 2009

Welcome 2010!

Only 75 days to get 2010 launched towards success! Do I mean 75 days left to finish strong in 2009? That might be important, but more important is to start now on 2010. 2009 is basically over. Even if you peak in the holiday season, your product line, inventory, and marketing are probably too far along to change enough to make dramatic differences in your total 2009 results. Therefore, it’s time to focus on 2010.

      To launch 2010 strong, focus on three issues:

  1. Objectively evaluate your market for 2010. I don’t mean take 2009 and add the 40% sales increase you hope you can get. I mean look at all the economic and market indicators and very critically examine what will and will not change in 2010. Determine how big the market will be and set a sales goal that reflects reality, not stupidity. You can grow in a flat market; just look closely at issue 2 and 3 as you set that goal.
  2. Objectively evaluate your strengths in your market and know what will bring you business over your competition. This will form your marketing plan which should be implemented today.
  3. Objectively evaluate your weaknesses against the market and know what weaknesses your competition will exploit against you. This forms your development plan so that before spring comes you have minimized the opening that your competition is going to leverage for their success.

The problem with starting in January is the lag between marketing, prospecting, and gaining commitments. You have 75 days to evaluate, launch, and see immediate results in January instead of seeing the cold winter warm into the spring thaw.          

For a workshop on adding new tactics and skills to use in making 2010 the year you want and need, watch our website for the half day workshop, Launch 2010 Now!

July 11, 2009

Sales Training Assignment

Filed under: Uncategorized — Educated and Aware @ 4:10 pm
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Stay tuned, on Monday, July 13 there will be a special posting right here to help you focus your sales.

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July 3, 2009

Social Media–Social or Media?

Everyone has an opinion on social media today. Some feel it is the future of all communication and sales, while others feel it is a fad that is already passing. My concern as a sales trainer and coach is whether your social media strategy is working for you. How do you know?

Here is one post from someone I respect as a marketer. She was upset regarding a recent Twitter experience. Here’s the one sentence summary: auto responders are fake and do not help you build relationship and can work against you. Read the details yourself, and I bet you will agree. Karen’s new non-friend.

Other marketing experts claim that social media works for B2C markets but not B2B markets. One problem with social media on B2B markets is whether your target market is watching the social media mediums you are using. Here’s a thought from a marketing expert on why and how social media is not all it hypes itself as in B2B markets.

Here is someone who talks about how not to use Twitter, which is what I see way too often–blatant repetitive advertising, that, wow, look at that, repeats every so many days because it is being done by a program and not a person. Gee, is that a relationship?

I don’t have hard stats but from regular discussions, I think I personally know one person who is making a reasonable ROI on his or her social media time. One. And I’m not 100% positive that person is really profitable. I don’t mean “yeah, I’ve made some money from social media” as in you’ve sold a project or two. I mean you took your net margin (that would be sales less direct expenses) and took the hours you have invested in social media, totaled them all up, and then divided your net margin by your hours invested and found out that your net hourly rate for your social media time was as good or better than your other marketing efforts. Just for fun, try it out and see how much you make per hour.

I’m not saying social media is dead or even dying. I’m just glad more people are starting to question if it fits and how to get a measurable return out of it for the majority of people on it. As more true success stories filter out from the masses still looking, I’ll be the first to post them here.

July 2, 2009

Halftime

Filed under: INFOCUSSELLING BLOG — Educated and Aware @ 11:32 pm
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July means we are more than half through 2009. Amazing or not, it’s true. When sports teams go into the locker room at halftime, they regroup and rethink their second half strategy. Whether or not you like sports, we should learn from them and ask when you look at your first half performance, what do you need to change for the second half to win the 2009 game?

Good strategists look at offense and defense. Offense is what you are doing to get in touch with your target market and how you are actively converting prospects to customers. Your strategic change is what you are going to do differently to get in front of more prospects. What are you going to do differently to convert more prospects to clients? Look at your sales activity and identify the weak link. If you have more than one weak, pick the most important two aspects and address them. Don’t try to change more than two aspects of your sales process at one time. If you try to tackle too many things at one time in your sales process, you will most likely end up not doing any of them…and you will finish 2009 the same way you are at halftime.

Defense is what you do to protect your market from competitors. Are you losing projects that you should get? How and where are they beating you? What do you need to do to alter that balance? Just like changes to your offense, defensive strategy is to identify the one or two things that you need to do to re-position yourself so that you are in a stronger position relative to your competitor. Don’t try to change too many things or again, you’ll end up 2009 the same place you are at halftime.

Your game is sales and your goal is to sell the volume you projected in January. The good news is, no matter where you are today, you have the time to still win the game. Strategists, like winners, act, evaluate, adjust, move forward, and repeat the cycle. Be a strategist, be a winner.

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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February 19, 2009

ACTUM Group Perspective Archive

New to INFOCUS Selling or ACTUM Group?  Or missed a few issues of our information packed monthly newsletter?

Click here to check out back issues of The ACTUM Group Perspective newsletter.

January 8, 2009

When Bigger Isn’t Better. Client Case Study: FileEngine

Every once in a while, man bites the dog. Maybe it’s more common than we think. In this case, FileEngine is biting a Great Dane in Microsoft with their locally developed but nationally acclaimed and award winning server. www.fileengine.com If you have more than a few computers in your office, then you have or need a server. Servers help you share, control, and protect shared computer files and, done properly, also provide a conduit for confident data backup. The big dog wants you to think that they are your only solution and that for about $7,000 plus $350-500 per month for ongoing tech support, they can solve your server needs.

Continued…

January 5, 2009

Resisting an Invitation to Give Away a Quarter Million Bucks

Article by Chris McEvoy

Setting the stage, back a few years, when I’m president of PALLM, Inc., an Indy-based insurance software company.

 It was the English chap on the phone from Tokyo.

“Good news, you got the deal! They’re OK with your pricing. They want you to bring a technical person to Tokyo to present to the computer geeks while you finalize the deal.”

Continued…

December 21, 2008

When Clients Listen

Sometimes you get quoted and don’t even know it. Here’s a client with a great focused product, and a great message as well. We appreciate the plug and are about to return the favor with them re-doing our website. We’re excited.

MarketPath on being focused.

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