51 Tips for Sales Leaders from the Sales Consulting Industry

November 23, 2011 at 7:00 AM

sales consulting industry tipsThis post is written for sales leaders who describe themselves as students of the craft.  You do not have time to comb through hundreds of blogs, books, magazines, articles, podcasts, tweets, etc. to find that one nugget that you can use today.  Yet, you are competitive and want to know more than the next guy. Our sales consulting firm can play the role of “curator” and net it out for you.

The origin of this post was a journal containing the most commonly requested topics to be written about on our blog. As our subscriber base has increased, so too have the requests, making it difficult for our sales consulting firm to keep pace.   The most logical way to respond to each request is the Tip List.

Here it is.  Enjoy.

51 Tips for Students of the Craft from the Sales Consulting Industry

  1. Make sure you have channel ready content before launching a channel enablement program.
  2. Convert your Ideal Customer Profile into Buyer Personas.
  3. The most effective sales process reinforcement tool is the win/loss review.
  4. Prioritize recycled leads over all other leads sources.  Third time is a charm.
  5. Fill lead development rep positions before filling sales rep positions.
  6. When qualifying a lead, understand the difference between interest and intent.
  7. Have both commissions and bonuses in your comp plan.
  8. Properly weigh comp plan variables.  You are signaling to the field what is important to you.
  9. Match web form submissions to 3rd party databases to see if they are real people.
  10. Keep the lead scoring algorithm SIMPLE.
  11. Tie quotas to the potential of a territory.
  12. Last year’s revenue production is an unreliable input into this year’s quota.
  13. Event based sales training does not work.
  14. Hiring 'A' players takes more than a 1 hour interview.
  15. New hire time to productivity is most effected by territory composition.
  16. Don’t read any sales best practices written pre-internet. They no longer apply.
  17. Stop calling inside sales inside sales.  It is demeaning and no longer accurate.
  18. There are 2,000 hours of selling time per rep per year. 50 weeks x 40 hours/week.
  19. Single purpose roles are outperforming multi-purpose sales roles.
  20. Centralized lead gen outperforms decentralized lead gen.
  21. Knowing how to do something is more important than knowing what to do.
  22. ¾ of selling costs are labor costs.  Get sales force sizing correct.
  23. Too many sales people will make the CFO unhappy.  Too few sales people will make the CEO unhappy.
  24. Learn your customers' meeting preferences- face to face, over the phone, or web based.
  25. Making decisions with your gut no longer makes sense.  There's lots of data at your fingertips.
  26. Mystery shop your competitors. How do they sell?
  27. Make sure your best reps are on your best accounts.
  28. Don’t buy software (CRM, Marketing Automation) until you have a process defined.
  29. Leading indicators are better than lagging indicators. Which metrics are you looking at?
  30. Garbage in, garbage out.  Don’t let your reps pollute your data.
  31. SFDC works for your sales team. Your sales team does not work for SFDC.
  32. Forecasting without a sales process is like building a house without a blue print.
  33. Only the buyer can move from one stage to the next in a sales methodology. A rep cannot.
  34. Mckinsey says ¾ of Solution Selling roll outs have failed.  It no longer works.
  35. Make sure your sales managers are impacting the business, not just reporting on it.
  36. A sales process without job aides is like a dentist without tools to clean teeth.
  37. Only a customer can determine if they are a Key Account. You cannot.
  38. In strategic account programs, less is more.  If you have more than 25 accounts in the program, double check it.
  39. Selling services is different than selling products.  It requires two separate sales methods.
  40. By the time you get the sales appointment, the customer has done lots of research.
  41. Opening a presentation with a company intro slide is like walking into a bar with your resume stuck to your forehead.
  42. All of your customers are on social media.  Get out of denial.
  43. Not all channel partners are created equal. Treat them differently.
  44. Channel success is not signing new channel partners.
  45. A channel manager role is not a “relationship manager”.  Generate incremental revenue or go home.
  46. Make sure every sales call has a call objective prior to beginning.  Simple but often overlooked.
  47. Prospects will Google you before agreeing to do business. What will they find?
  48. Buyers cannot be sold. Buyers buy.
  49. Great processes executed by below average people results in failure.
  50. Great people with no process support results in failure.
  51. Sales excellence = great people placed in optimized performance conditions.

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Topics: Sales Consulting Firms, Sales Consulting

Posted by Greg Alexander

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