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The Upside: Killer Sales Tips

5 posts from January 2010

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January 31, 2010

It's Chicken Soup! (yes, I'm talking about screen-sharing)

"Its chicken soup!" That's how my grandmother told you something you were trying to do was (or should be) really easy. Apparently, she thought making chicken soup was easy, and maybe, in comparison to the other more complicated Mediterranean recipes in her cooking repertoire, it was!

These days, I'm the Marketing Director at Glance -- a high-tech start up, that makes the world's easiest screen sharing tool. I'm sure my grandmother would not only say "it's chicken soup!" but she'd be able to use Glance herself (and she wasn't a fan of technology - never learned to drive a car).

Watch our new (really short) how-to video, below, and see for yourself how easy Glance is to use, compared to all those complicated web conferencing services out there that need an IT guy standing by just to get it started. Better yet, test it on your grandmother. And then try it with your prospects, clients, and colleagues, when you do your next sales demo, sales presentation, prospecting, or support call.

Let me hear you say it now, "IT'S CHICKEN SOUP!"

Glance.net, Glance Networks, simple screen-sharing, conferencing, sales presentations, sales demos, prospecting, closing, customer support

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for daily tips on using screen-sharing to maximize every conversation throughout your sales cycle.

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

January 26, 2010

Adherence to Sales Process Drops, With Negative Results

More interesting insights from CSO Insights' Sales Performance Optimization 2009 Survey:

Sales process, sales tips, sales methodology, prospecting, qualifying, glance.net
I was surprised by the fact that 62% of all companies surveyed have a random or informal sales process! The CSO Insights Report points out that, in fact, year over year, companies using formal or dynamic processes have decreased, and that loss was converted to increases in informal processes.

Why does all this matter? Well, businesses that have implemented more formal or dynamic sales processes have:

  • higher conversion rates throughout the sales cycle,
  • better predictive ability to forecast, and
  • better ability to adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace (e.g., recessions)
Clearly, it takes much more discipline and rigor to implement and maintain formal sales processes than not (I know because I watch my friends in Sales here at Glance do the hard, sometimes tedious, work of maintaining our formal process!) But it's worth it. In difficult times, sticking to formal sales processes can give you a significant competitive edge.

A few resources on sales processes, to get you started:

And of course, my own plug: Make every conversation count, throughout your sales process -- Try Glance, the only screen-sharing tool built for sales pros, free for 7 days...

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

January 24, 2010

How Are Your Sales Leads Generated?

Like last week's blog post, this week I'm posting more interesting observations from CSO Insights' Sales Performance Optimization 2009 Survey:

Leadgen, lead gen, sales leads, glance.net, prospecting, sales reps, sales tips, smarketing

If you're like us here at Glance, you'd probably rather have your sales reps spend more time actually selling rather then generating leads, right? The CSO Insights Report goes on to suggest that the best way that Marketing can help Sales find more leads is to improve the company web site. In fact, 54% of Sales reps interviewed in this study, feel their company web site needs improvement!

Marketing: point taken! After all, the first step in any prospects' buy cycle is visiting web sites to research purchase options, hopefully registering (friending, following, etc.) for more information, and therefore, becoming a lead. For prospects, your company web site needs to engage their attention, garner their interest, and make them take an action to become a lead.

What about your company -- how/where do you generate most of your sales leads? How is Marketing helping Sales generate leads?

Follow us on Twitter for more daily tips about effective sales and lead gen.

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

January 20, 2010

Research Results: Top 3 Sales Objectives for the Next 12 Months

From CSO Insights' Sales Performance Optimization 2009 Survey:

Sales objectives, sales tips, sales process, Glance.net, sales effectiveness So, what objectives do you have at the top of your list?

Consider making "increase sales effectiveness" a very close #2. There's a whole host of Sales 2.0 tools out there, that help sales pros make each call more effective, as opposed to simply making more calls.

[And if you want to maximize your impact on every phone conversation, try my company's sales-focused, screen-sharing product, Glance, for free!]

-- Carla Gates, Director, Marketing

January 10, 2010

Riding Shotgun = Sales Coaching

I'm writing this post from my Blackberry while riding shot gun; my 17 year old daughter, Sophia, behind the wheel earning hours so that she can take the test to join the ranks of the privileged.
 
Many of you have already had the same thought as I have; "shouldn't he be paying attention?"
 
If you have gone through this process with a teenager, you know the answer is clearly 'no'. I'm learning as the father of a 17-year-old; to give space, observe, and only take action to avoid potential tragedy; and I’m not just referring to the driving.
 
Come to think of it, this challenge is similar to coaching fledgling sales professionals; when you have been doing something for so long that its second nature, it’s hard to not comment on every small infraction.

Today I am trying to take my own medicine. Prior to this drive, I asked my daughter to:

  1. Pick a clear destination,
  2. Understand the directions,
  3. Review the various roads which we will travel, and,
  4. If she has questions about challenges we may find along the way; to make sure that we discuss ahead of time.
But once on the road, she owns the deal.
 
So here we are barreling down I-95 South. Sure, there have been a few hiccups, yes, I would rather her not actually turn the car into oncoming traffic, yes, it would have been nice to give the poor old man out walking his dog a few more inches, or possibly things may improve when she understands the that “Yield” does not mean “stop completely”...
 
But that is why I sit here, texting this blog; peripheral vision in overdrive, heart rate pegged, and palms so sweaty I can barely type.
 
I am doing my best to promote a healthy learning environment, without saying it, letting her know that I have confidence in her, to not over coach, so that ironically she can relax.
 
Will I point out later that “Speed Pass Lane” is not for literal interpretation? Of course I will. But I will do that at the right time, not in the middle of “the deal”, not when she needs me most.

Like my daughter, the budding sales pro needs similar guidance:

  1. To explain the value of establishing a clear destination,
  2. Assistance in building a roadmap to keep them focused,
  3. The teaching of required sales skills, and most importantly,
  4. The leadership to build the confidence required to drive revenue in these toughest of times.

When sales coaching, remember to ride shotgun, not drive.

-- Tom Scontras, VP Sales & Marketing