Humans are very complex creatures and I have learned the hard way that a few words badly picked can lead to miscommunication. And ultimately prevent getting the desired outcome. When I realise that happened, I tend to replay the conversation ad nauseam (well, not quite, but a few times) and wish I’d say this or that instead. There is apparently a French expression, “l’esprit de l’escalier”, literally the thoughts of the stairs. Essentially, what one thinks while going down the stairs (l’escalier) replaying a conversation.… Read the rest
This post focuses on sales ops and how to make sure the data captured in a sales process, right from the lead gen stage, flows efficiently across the various parts of the process. And beyond avoiding data leakage, how capturing as much data early on can helps analytics even if some data pieces can be deemed not relevant initially. In this first post, I take the example of a sales ops process built around 4 services / technologies, I explain the 4 groups of data useful to capture and maintain for KPIs and reporting purposes.… Read the rest
Photo credit: Adamnsinger
“Should we catch-up?” “Did you synch-up with your colleagues?” “When is a good time to synch-up?”.
As we know, it takes a few interactions with a prospect to bring him/her as a fully fledge customer. When looking at moving prospects throughout the sales process, whilst it’s best to block a slot with the prospect for the next conversation, things never run perfectly and some form of chasing is more often than not inevitable. Above are some examples of the not so very good (understatement) follow-up emails that can be used.… Read the rest
Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Can you send me some information please?
This is a standard question I hear a lot when starting an engagement with a prospect. A reasonable question and one which, when we have our happy ears on, could be seen as a positive sign. The syllogism could be “All companies who have signed wanted information at the beginning of a process. He wants information. Therefore he will sign.”
But let’s be honest. This question could also mean other things:
- First option: “Please do go away, I am busy but I am polite so I am pretending to be interested by asking you information”.
Photo credit: nicoleneu1
Here is a brief round of interesting posts I have read, found particularly good and thought they were worth sharing.
First of all, a post from David Brock about the companies that believe they have a sales process but, actually, simply don’t. What I like beyond David rather dry sense of humour (notably on things like “gurus” in Linkedin), is the probing of companies that believe they have a process when, actually, it is not being followed or need some updating. The post is here.
Secondly, a post on sales training and who should pay for it. … Read the rest
Photo credit: Pacheco
Have you seen this slide that regularly goes around on LinkedIn presenting the amount of time a sales person needs to follow-up with a prospect to get a deal and how many sales people stops too quickly.
You can’t have missed it. It comes back over and over again and is coming from the so-called “National Sales Executive Association”? Well, if you didn’t know already: it is a fake. The NSEA simply doesn’t exist. But this slide seems to make the point there is value in chasing to secure a sale. … Read the rest
Photo credit: Dave Gray
I am sometimes asked for some good books to read about sales. If the specific issue at hand is about prospecting, one which is worth knowing about is called “Predictable revenues” by Aaron Ross. It presents the lead generation process that has been implemented within SalesForce around 2004 and helped the company grow to $100,000Mn+. Prospecting is key for young businesses, especially as they can not rely on growing revenues from existing clients or referrals. Or for companies entering a new market. And as many other parts of a company operation, to have a process for prospecting is important (#understatement).… Read the rest
Photo credit: Stephen Koigi
Education, education, education. Tony Blair used this motto consistently in his first campaign to get into power. And it worked. A few years ago, as I was getting seriously into front-line sales, I was struggling and was wondering if I should make this motto mine. I had some sales experience, more specifically “bizz dev” experience but no sales “education”. So I was considering if it was a right investment of time and money.
I went ahead with it and never turned back.
I am not in the sales training business but, having been through the motions, here are five reasons why I think it was indeed the right thing to do and why, anyone in a similar situation, should consider doing the same:
1- Do you have a sales degree?… Read the rest
The Sunday morning breakfast table was full of home made goodies: caramelised french toasts, chocolate filled brioche and pain brioche. Whilst eating these, the conversation was focused on what we would to in the afternoon after rugby training. And one option was starting to get a lot of the kids excited: going to a massive swimming pool with loads of slides and games. However, there was some work to do that hadn’t been done on Saturday. The conversation went a little bit like this:
“The pool sounds like a possibility but you haven’t done your homework yet., notably the French exam.… Read the rest
Photo credit: Ryan Rahn
“Would you mind doing this psycho-metric test for me please?”
I was at the start of taking the sales training I signed up for. When asked to fill in a questionnaire with loads of questions such as “when this happens, what is your reaction: x, y or z”, my immediate reaction was:
“Complete, utter non-sense” (actually, it was a stronger reaction, self-censored it).
I had been struggling with sales. I was developing a business and I realised that sales was not about doing nice presentations and about relationships.… Read the rest