Who Is Responsible for Sales?

If you are a solo entrepreneur the answer to this question is obvious – you are. However, if you’re a business owner or business leader with numerous employees and/or direct reports the answer may not be so straightforward. But it should be.

The short answer is EVERYBODY!!!

Whether you are a small business of one or a large corporation with 100,000+ employees, everybody is directly or indirectly responsible for either driving or supporting sales, regardless of their job title. Unfortunately, far too often this fact gets lost on many companies and employees alike. Continue reading…

Is FREE Still a Great Marketing Tool?

Is FREE still a great marketing and promotional tool or has it lost its luster? I have to admit, I’m on the fence on this one, and could really use some feedback from you.

Back in the “old days” it was a foregone conclusion that price = value. However, we all know market conditions have shifted drastically as a result of e-commerce and more aggressive global competition, to the extent that it is hard to recognize a good value when you see one today, particularly when shopping online. Continue reading…

Selling Beyond the Bid Process

Developing a bid response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) in the private or public sectors is time consuming, resource intensive and in most cases the end result will be a “no sale” unless you are the incumbent, or have established a strong business relationship with the decision-makers in advance.

If you did not write or help the client develop the bid requirements, your chances of winning are less than 20%. Why? Most bids, either directly or indirectly are biased toward another vendor’s products or services. Oftentimes, the incumbent plays a significant role in developing the bid specifications, or it is a bias on the part of the client’s internal team toward a particular solution that influences the bid specifications and the final outcome.

So, how do you increase your odds of winning when you are in a loss position before you even start to formulate a proposal response? The most effective way to improve your win rates in bid situations is to change the ground rules and sell beyond the bid process. Continue reading…

Serious Business Owner or Playing Office?

Most of us think of ourselves as serious business professionals, committed to the success of our businesses. But are we really? Do our actions truly reflect a serious commitment to success?

Are you a serious business owner or playing office?

A Kauffman Foundation study of 549 successful businesses showed that 93% of the business owners surveyed cited “not putting in the time and effort required” as the #2 most common barrier to entrepreneurial success next to failure to take risk. Are you devoting the time and effort required to grow your business and reach your personal and financial goals?

The following is a simple test that should help provide you with some clarity and answers regarding your focus and level of commitment to building a successful business. Continue reading…

6 Tips to Help Keep Your Sales on Track

Every business owner or salesperson needs to continually add new customers and increase sales in order to grow their business. So, it is important to have a well defined sales process to enable you to build consensus with prospective buyers at each critical juncture during the selling process to improve sales results.

Having a well defined sales process will help you improve close rates, shorten sales cycles and enhance the profitability of each sale. Here are some tips to help keep your sales on track: Continue reading…

Sales & Marketing Plan Check-up Time

Much the same as your car or home, you should also schedule periodic check-ups of your sales and marketing plans to ensure that you are receiving optimal performance and results.

These check-ups should be done on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis as an integral part of the ongoing planning process. Regularly scheduled plan reviews will enable you to capitalize on emerging market trends, and make necessary course corrections to minimize potential shortfalls. Continue reading…

5 Tips to Help You Sell With Purpose

Today’s selling environment is much more challenging and complex than it has been in our history. Buyer’s are highly educated, and the Internet has opened up vast reservoirs of information to the consumers and corporate decision makers to enable them to be better informed when making purchase decisions.

To be effective in selling to a more sophisticated, well educated and informed buyer, you must match or exceed the buyer’s level of knowledge of the products and services you are selling, and be able to articulate how they will directly benefit them and their organization. You have to be able to sell with purpose. Continue reading…

Dear New Business Owner: Welcome To Sales!

It’s a very exciting time. As a new business owner, you have spent the past several months preparing to launch your new company. You’ve written your business plan, consulted with an attorney, accountant, banker, etc., obtained your LLC, had your logo, business cards and brochure designed and printed, and your web site is ready to go live.

Now it’s time for the fun to begin … it’s time to announce your arrival, and go sell something. So, who is responsible for sales in your bright shining new business? Oh … that’s probably you, isn’t it? With all of your hard work and preparation up to this point, how much time have you devoted to sales training to help prepare you to successfully sell your product or service? Continue reading…

Keys to Building High-Performing Sales Teams

Globalization, mergers, acquisitions, downsizing and bankruptcies have collectively turned our economy and traditional business models upside down. However, despite the churn, despite all of the complexities and changes that we have seen to our business ecosystem, there still exists one simple, basic business truth; “nothing happens until somebody sells something”.

The sales organization is the most important resource for any business, and your sales people are still the vital life-line to the customer. For any company that wants to achieve accelerated business growth and profits, building a high-performing sales team is absolutely crucial to that success. Continue reading…

Growing Your Business With Partners

Building strong alliances and partnerships with both industry and local partners should be a high priority for any business that wants to rapidly expand its customer base, its products and services portfolio, and dramatically improve sales and profits. There are numerous benefits to selling with and through partners. Here are some of the more significant benefits:

  • Receive generous commissions on products and services sales
  • Gain access to leading products, services and business building tools
  • Receive training and support from branded products and services companies
  • Obtain free sales and marketing tools to help you identify new revenue sources
  • Strengthen your brand through business relationships with high profile partners
  • Expand your market reach without major investments in advertising and marketing
  • Extend your value proposition by offering a broader array of products and services Continue reading…