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The Importance of the Fourth Quarter

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Friday, October 2, 2020

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

The Importance of the Fourth Quarter

I believe the most important sales quarter of the calendar year is the fourth quarter.

In football, the fourth quarter is the time you need to keep your foot on the accelerator, and not let your competitor get back in the game. As I've stated before, I believe running up the score (with backups) is a good thing.

In sales, the fourth quarter is the one that may determine if you attain bonus levels of your commission plan as you end the year on a high note. Additionally, successful fourth quarter activities help establish the groundwork for a fast start to the new year (in the first quarter). Please don't take things for granted, don't coast or sandbag for next year. Depending on your sales cycle, your results in the first part of next year may be directly dictated by your activities now. So, keep your "pedal to the metal" and run up that score!

Q - So what's my second favorite quarter?

A - The first quarter (just by a slim margin).

Start strong, and end stronger!

Happy Selling!

Tags:  Customer Service  Data Gathering  Increasing Sales  Needs Analysis  Networking  Relationships  Sales  Sales Coaching  Sales Commission  Sales Goals  Sales Management  Sales People  Sales Professionals  Sales Prospecting  Sales Questions  Sales Quotas  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Teams 

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What Salespeople can learn from the game “Battleship”

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Thursday, August 27, 2020

Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching

What Salespeople can learn from the game “Battleship”

No matter how busy a salesperson is currently, a portion of their sales time on a daily or weekly basis needs to be in Business Development. The art of Business Development is a mix of cross-selling & up-selling existing customers, networking, asking for referrals, warm calls, and cold calls. These activities will help pave the way for future business and reduce our dependency on merely surviving on repeat orders from existing customers. Caring for our existing customer base is critical; however, without additional focus on new opportunities we risk losing a chunk of our business revenue by experiencing a customer loss (caused by either a competitive or economic issue).

A client of mine recently told me that he compares Business Development to playing the game “Battleship.” While he makes only a few prospecting calls per week in addition his other account management activities, he tries to make a game out of it. If you have played the game, you know that there are many more white pegs for misses than there are red pegs for hits. This is the norm for prospecting as well (especially cold calling). When playing “Battleship”, many people utilize some sort of strategy in trying to find their opponent’s ships. The single little ship is the most difficult to find (like a big sale). There are several larger ships in the game (which translate into small to mid-sized sales). To win board games, as well to win in Business Development, pre-planning is critical for establishing the foundation for executing an effective strategy. This approach is effective in business, sports, and most importantly, life.

Overall, you will find blending in some sound Business Development strategy along with your other activities - a winning combination.

Celebrate your successes and have a safe and happy weekend!

Tags:  Battleship  Business Development  Increasing Sales  Prospecting  Sales  Sales Coaching  Sales Management  Sales Professionals  Sales Results  Sales Skills  Sales Strategy  Salespeople  Strategy 

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Ever peel your banana from the bottom?

Posted By Mike Leeds, Pro Sales Coaching, LLC, Thursday, July 16, 2020

Ever peel your banana from the bottom?

Like most people, most of the time, I peel bananas from the stem at the top. Every once in a while, you get that stubborn stem – the one that breaks off, the one that's not ripe, the one that's too ripe, or the one that defies nature and just isn't there.

You have 3 choices when this happens to you (and it's only banana remaining in the bowl):

  1. Fight with the banana, and attempt to win the battle. This may involve demonstrating some patience to work with the problem. Or, you can use a tool to assist your efforts (like a knife).
  1. Step away from the banana, and try it again another day. You avoid the situation today, but the problem will still exist later.
  1. Try peeling the banana from the bottom. This involves creativity and being open to change. (I heard about this approach from an acquaintance, and just laughed it off.)

Then it recently happened… I encountered a challenging banana stem. So, I opted for option 3 above (instead of the usual option 1). It worked - it was a successful peel!

This methodology could be applied to making sales calls (especially during COVID). Every once in a while, change it up and try something different. Add another approach to a prospecting call, a data gathering question, or proposing a benefit or solution. We can never have enough sales tools in our sales toolbox.

Have a Successful Sales Day, Stay Safe & "Bottoms Up!"

Tags:  marketing  sales 

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The B2B Marketing Trend Forbes Got Wrong

Posted By Lynn Ruby, The Ruby Marketing Agency, Monday, January 13, 2020

In December 2019, Forbes published an article “Five B2B Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020”.

I read it with great anticipation, and wholeheartedly agree with them all . . . except one.

Here are the highlights of those 5 trends and what we’re recommending our clients do in 2020 around each trend.

1 – Engage Your Prospects with Personalized Communications

Forbes Article Says:

72% of buyers expect B2B companies to personalize communications in a way that suits their needs.

Our Recommendations:

Right on!  Personalization is crucial, expected by your buyers, and goes way beyond just including “Dear Mike” at the top of your mass emails.

Personalization is one key aspect of what’s called Account Based Marketing (ABM) – a “strategic approach to business marketing based on account awareness in which an organization considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.”

Try a focused ABM strategy instead of throwing everything at the “digital” wall. We’re working with several clients on an ABM strategy right now, some simple some complex, but all with massive personalization, crystal clear intent and measurable ROI.

2 – Reenergize Your Email Marketing

Forbes Article Says:

Email is already considered the preferred method of business communication for most business decision makers, and 2020 promises even better opportunities for growth.

Our Recommendations:

Bless you email, you continue to be the good old workhorse of digital marketing. We do love you and it’s time for a facelift!

As a B2B marketer, if you’re still doing “one off emails”, it’s time to implement a true email marketing strategy for 2020 with a defined purpose and measurable results. No more putting out an email because, well, it’s been a while, and then cram everything into one email with no rhyme or reason or understanding of what your reader truly wants to see.

Also, consider moving away from basic email programs like Constant Contact and MailChimp, and using a more robust “CRM like” system such as Keap or ZoHo with more personalization, automation, and metrics.

3 – Invest In Your B2B Social Media Strategy

Forbes Article Says:

Have defined objectives for your social presence. For example, do you want to generate better-targeted leads, build your brand or enhance your customer service? And choose the right social media platform to reach them — and for the B2B industry, this usually means LinkedIn.

Our Recommendations:

Absolutely! We see too many B2B companies dabbling in social media with very few followers, little to no engagement, and miserable metrics.  And yet others who’ve outsourced to a social media company that’s clueless about their industry, having to edit all content before it gets posted, or risk seeing a post on their professional page with kittens, bubbles, and cute sayings.

Take a stand in one social platform (yes probably LinkedIn), and hire a company who understands the B2B environment to assist you in getting a true ROI.

4 – Refine Your Content Marketing Efforts

Forbes Article Says:

Decision makers are a lot younger than they used to be, as more than 70% of millennials are included in B2B buying decisions. B2B researchers do at least 12 searches online before engaging with a website, hoping for the same high-quality digital experience they get when making B2C purchases.

This means investing in video, virtual reality, augmented reality and interactive content. 70% of B2B buyers research their potential purchases by watching videos.

Our Recommendations:

Agreed!  We have clients using marketing videos with tremendous success in generating leads. B2B buyers do tons of online research before picking up the phone or emailing you.  Video can make you memorable, personable, and give your prospect a comfort level about contacting you.

The caveat:  You can’t just put up a camera, place your CEO in front of the lens, and expect to get results.  There’s a formula for using marketing video effectively.  Work with someone who will help you get that right before popping off the lens cap.

5 – Use Chatbots For B2B Lead Generation

Forbes Article Says:

Research predicts that businesses will invest $400 million in chatbots in 2021, while a Business Insider report shares that 80% of enterprise will want personalized chatbots by 2020, saving them up to $38 billion in the process.

Our Recommendations:

Are Chatbots a Marketing Trend to Watch in 2020?  Certainly.  Just watch it pass by!

This Forbes article identifies Chatbots as a significant marketing trend for 2020 which will “save
corporations $38 billion”.

No mention is made of the marketing effectiveness of chatbots.

Unless you’ve got a lot of discretionary marketing dollars and have someone who knows the ins and outs of implementing and maintaining chatbots, invest your money in face to face and telephone communication with clients and prospects instead.  Chatbots are notoriously difficult to implement, routinely cause frustration for customers, and certainly take the personal out of personalization.

Chatbots – as of yet – can’t interpret sarcasm or humor correctly!  Humans can.

We believe you’ll have a positive edge by implementing more actual “people to people” communications rather than avoiding contact with your customers and clients by relegating them to interacting with robots.

__________________________________________________________________

Source: 5 B2B Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020,  December 2, 2019, Forbes Communications Council, Author: Indre Deksnyte.

Tags:  2020 marketing trends  b2b marketing  digital marketing  lynn ruby  ruby marketing agency  social media  video 

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The Art and Science of Persuasion

Posted By Joseph Rosales, The Performance Group of Arizona, Monday, October 22, 2018

  

 

Certainly, some people are naturally more persuasive than others. Whether it is their passion, their experience, or just a knack for connecting...some people seem able to persuade people more easily.

And success in sales and in business is significantly influenced by the ability to persuade.

 

However, being persuasive is not just about having the "gift of gab". Good communication skills are essential and with the proper perspectives, a solid strategy and some effective technique virtually anyone can learn to be more persuasive. There is a lot of science behind how people are influenced and persuaded.  And some great news...the ability to influence others can be developed by most anyone with a desire to learn.

 

Robert Cialdini wrote in his best-selling book, Principles of Persuasion about the scientifically proven fundamentals of persuasion.  They are presented here in no particular order of importance.

·       Reciprocity - give before you ask to receive. This is so fundamental but is rarely practiced in business. It could be as simple as providing (not just offering) a customer a bottle of water, or some other gracious act that causes them to feel obligated to reciprocate. There are a million examples of Reciprocity at work in our daily lives...but suffice to say that if you invite someone to a party you are having you are more likely to receive an invitation in return.

 

·       Scarcity - whether it is limited time, or limited product availability, scarcity is a significant influence if properly presented that will persuade people to act. Consider the various ways Scarcity can be used to influence and persuade in your business.

 

·       Authority - this is not about being in charge. This is about causing yourself as an authority in a particular subject without seeming self-promoting. It could simply be one's experience gained in helping hundreds of customers select the right product for them, or displaying awards you have won for outstanding achievement.

·       Consistency - this speaks to the process of gaining small commitments along the way that will lead to a larger commitment (a yes) when the time comes to make a buying decision. Think

about all the "minor yes's" that could be gained along the way that might pave the way to the

bigger yes.

 

·       Liking - people buy from people and companies they like. However; just because you smile, have a polite introduction and talk about their favorite sports team, does not mean a consumer is going to like you. Being a sincerely nice person, smiling a lot and having a positive attitude is a great place to start.

·       Consensus - people like to buy what is popular. The ability to use Consensus is a very

subtle approach and must be done with balance, but suffice to say that Consensus is a very

powerful influence in the persuasion process and helps validate a buyer’s decision

 

I trust this helps shed some light on Persuasion and how it can help you in business and in life.

If you need help converting and applying these concepts to your specific business...please reach out

to me...I will be glad to help you!  Joseph Rosales

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  marketing  Sales  Sales Management  Sales Professionals  Sales Results  Sales Skills  selling skills 

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