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The Competitive Advantage

tag: sales management

August 11, 2020

Sales Managers Need to Be Sales Leaders

I struck a nerve last week.

The article I wrote – ‘Why full-time sales reps fail in our industry’ – was one of the most widely-read articles that I’ve written in the past 8 years. It also generated a lot of engagement and comments on LinkedIn.

But there’s more to the topic than was covered last week. So, this week, I want to talk about a couple of common sales tactics that – in most cases – are executed very poorly in our industry. And why that happens.

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August 4, 2020

Why Full-time Sales Reps Fail in Our Industry

Hint: It’s almost never the sales rep’s fault.

There is an all-too-common occurrence among Market Research firms. It seems that when they finally summon the nerve (and resources) to hire a full-time, 100% business development professional (i.e. a ‘sales rep’), that sales rep fails (and is subsequently fired) almost every time. And pretty quickly, too. I can count on one hand the number of firms I know where there has been some level of success with this structure.

The question is, “WHY does it fail?” What is going on at all of these research firms that almost predisposes the sales rep to failure?

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July 28, 2020

12 Things to Do When Launching a New Service or Product

Congratulations! With the extra time you’ve had on your hands recently, you and your colleagues decided the time was right to launch a new service. Not just a small upgrade to what you’re already doing… but something entirely new. That’s terrific news.

Probably.

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July 14, 2020

12 Touchpoints While Waiting to Hear Back from a Sales Prospect

I signed-up a new client last week. Pretty excited about it, too. And it only took 2 years to make it happen! :-0

Do you have clients and prospects that are slow to respond? OK, maybe not 2-years-slow – and that was certainly an anomaly for us – but waiting to hear over a period of weeks, or even months, can be very challenging and incredibly frustrating.

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June 23, 2020

Make Role Playing the Centerpiece of Your Sales Training. Here’s Why.

True story: My first job after college was as a sales rep for the DuPont Company. While much of the 3-month training program was technical in nature, we also spent a good deal of time developing our selling skills. And on one particular day, we were tasked with doing some role playing (and it was to be videotaped!). My training scenario was that I was visiting a client (played by the Sales Trainer) who started complaining vehemently about the terrible quality of our product. After 30 seconds of being berated by the client and trying to respond appropriately, I just froze up, looked at the camera and said, “Help me!”

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May 12, 2020

Do you have a defined sales process? No?! Ignoring it is a HUGE mistake!

Imagine you have responsibility for revenue growth at your firm and you finally decide to pull the trigger and convert a couple of your senior Project Managers to the Seller-Doer role. Congrats!

Now what? Well, one of the items you’ll need to cover in their training is to help them understand your firm’s ‘sales process.’

Sales process?! It’s not a term or a concept used very often in our industry… but it’s critical to your selling success. And here’s why…

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May 4, 2020

Selling Success Requires 2 Things… a Good Sales Rep and a Better Sales Manager

8 Keys for Effective Sales Management

I was chatting with an industry colleague this past week and he mentioned he had just repositioned two of his Project Managers into Business Development roles… one as an account manager and one to go after new business.

And then he said something that really surprised me and even made me smile. He said, “This process has made me realize that I’m no sales manager!”

Wow! He is literally the first person in Market Research I have met who has said that. Out loud. Don’t get me wrong… there are a ton of really bad sales managers in our industry – he’s just the first one to admit it.

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April 21, 2020

Stop hard selling during the pandemic… use these 9 ‘soft touches’ instead.

I’ve been involved in a number of industry conversations lately around the topic of ‘selling during the pandemic.’ As the uncertainty grows, firms want/need to continue to sell, if only to maintain their business.

For many, however, the inclination is to be too proactive… that is ‘sell harder, sell faster.’ The reality is, though, that the opposite approach will have a much more positive impact.

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