21
Oct

Making Conflict in Sales and Marketing Productive

Healthy conflict can lead to healthy sales—if managers know how to guide the process or get help if they don’t. Children are admonished to “play fair” and show “good sportsmanship”—and rightly so, we believe. They learn, or we hope they learn, to use these principles to guide their behavior and, at least on the playground, to reduce serious conflict. But

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16
Sep

Boost Your Top Line to Boost Business Value

Here’s how to do it. Productive consultative sales training and process development can make the difference. Do you know IRV? If you’re a business owner or senior executive, you should. Why? One thing small and middle-market businesses are all about is increasing their value. And IRV is a straightforward way to use sales to increase that value in three ways—and to

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17
Aug

An Often-Overlooked M&A Tool: Sales Integration

Companies spend all sorts of pre-M&A time on alignment. But what about after the merger or acquisition deal is sealed? There is still work to be done, especially in sales. When companies make acquisitions, they have a lot to do, from identifying redundancies in staffing, processes, and procedures to selecting which survive and which can be reduced or eliminated. Even

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15
Apr

How to Make the Most of Your Sales Funnel

Do you use the income statement approach or the balance sheet approach? Not sure? Here’s how to know and then how to use your sales funnel to win more sales. Most salespeople, sales managers, and other business developers do know that the “sales funnel” plays a key role in making a sale. But too many do not know just what

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20
Nov

From Ray Kroc to You: In Selling, Always a Need for Speed–If It’s the Right Kind

Three business-to-business sales lessons on fast from McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc: 1) Be fast to follow up on a problem, 2) Be fast to get to the decision-maker, and 3) Be fast to recognize the potential and act on it. Here’s what happened when he followed that advice himself. In 1954, before he built his empire, road-warrior-salesman Ray Kroc drove

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20
Oct

Virtual Selling in the ‘Now’ Normal: Win or Lose–It’s Up to You

The medium has changed but the message hasn’t: Deliver value during the sales process. That’s what top producers have always done, it’s what they still do, and it’s what you can do, too. Now, with less in-person selling, knowing just how to do it is more important than ever. Winning and losing—really? Is that the best way to play the

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23
Sep

Which Is the Neglected ‘Middle Child’ in the Sales Process?

There are several possibilities but only one that really qualifies. And for good reason. Twenty or so steps make up the traditional sales process. Which step do you think is the most neglected, the one that’s most underappreciated, the one suffering from the so-called middle child syndrome*? Is it cold calling, demonstration, pre-meeting preparation, proposal writing, follow-up? Several candidates are

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15
Aug

From Zoom to Vroom: Finding Another Gear

Six months ago, many of us were struggling with remote platforms. Now, even though we’re still learning how to handle the technology, it’s time to push forward. Sellers can use powerful new tools to grow their toplines—and that includes meeting new challenges with imagination and optimism. The new mindset in business development is to shift into a higher gear: “Virtual”

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24
Jun

What Are the New Rules of Selling and Business Development?

Like the new rules of hand washing, the new rules of business development aren’t really so different from the old ones—they just need to be applied differently. The good news is that not everything has changed. Here is some guidance on how to know which is which and what’s what. As restrictions on businesses are loosened or lifted, a new

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3
Apr

Offshoring and the Failure of Selling

The good news is that manufacturing is returning to the U.S. The bad news is that much of it should never have left in the first place. The reason manufacturing left was not a failure of politics, economics, or business expertise. It was a failure of selling. By that I mean selling that not only educates, which is what 80 percent

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