Posted on May 8, 2009 by Dave Stein
To My Loyal and Valued Followers:
Effective immediately, I’ve moved my blog over to a new domain: ESResearch.com/blog. I will no longer be posting on this URL.
Please take a moment to update your RSS feedreader. Any of you with email subscriptions will automatically be transferred.
As I continue blogging, I’ll continue to provide you with the best that I have to give. I need to ask a favor or two in return:
- If you’re a blogger, update your blogroll with my new URL.
- Help me get the word out. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Groups. You’ve got your own list. I know I’m going to have a setback in my meager blog ranking, but would like to minimize it.
If you are interested in an independent view of sales training companies and sales training programs, visit ESR’s website.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 7, 2009 by Dave Stein
Here is today’s featured video on SellingPower.com.
Gerhard Gschwandtner interviewed me before one of his sales leadership conferences. If you click on the link (or the photo) you’ll have access to other videos as well, featuring Howard Stevens, Jim Dickie, and a other thought leaders in the area of sales performance.
Note: I understand the upcoming Sales 2.0 Conference in Boston is sold out. If you happen to be attending, please say hello.
Filed under: Hiring, sales training | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 4, 2009 by Dave Stein
What’s going on here?
- Sales training has been around for more than 100 years. Yet every year, new approaches appear with the promise of being “The Silver Bullet.” Old approaches—even those that are relevant to fixing the proble—are labeled “old-school,” and rejected.
- On Amazon.com there are 29, 469 books under the category of “How to Sell.” In “Sales Techniques” there are 11, 194.
- I’m personally tracking 80 blogs about selling. There are many more. Dozens provide solid advice.
- There are several hundred sales training firms ESR is aware of, yet there is no single one or two that dominate, as you would see in any other industry.
- In 2008, U.S. corporations spent around $6 billion on sales performance improvement, yet sales productivity (pre-recession) was down.
- The number of free webinars focused on improving sales capabilities is at an all-time high, and increasing. So are free articles, eBooks and white papers.
- Reports, statistics, surveys, research and opinion related to sales ineffectiveness are abound. Here are just a few sources: CSO Insights, Forrester, Sirius Decisions, The Sales Executive Council, Selling Power, Sales and Marketing Management magazine, most of the major sales training companies, and of course, ESR. You can find anything you need to know about the subject among these sources.
- There continue to be emerging movements with value propositions focused on sales performance improvement. The latest is Sales 2.0. Add the new online social media to the list.
- There is no shortage of associations and groups focused on sales performance: SMT (The Professional Society for Sales & Marketing Training), ASTD’s Sales Training Drivers, UPSA, SAMA (focused on Strategic Account Management, an advanced selling discipline), SMEI, The Sales Management Association, USEF (The University Sales Education Foundation), and a dozen or more groups on LinkedIn.
What’s my point? The root causes of sales ineffectiveness are clear. There is plenty of sound advice about how to fix the problem. There is a proven path. The answers are there for everyone to see. There are companies you can read about and observe that have achieved sales excellence.
So, recession aside, why is sales as a profession and function, losing ground?
Let me know your thoughts, please.
Photo credit: © dragon_fang – Fotolia.com
Filed under: Account Management, Economy, Industry Analyst, Professionalism, Research | Tagged: CSO Insights, Forrester, Sales and Marketing Management magazine, Sales Training Drivers, SAMA, Selling Power, Sirius Decisions, SMEI, SMT, The Sales Executive Council, UPSA, USEF | 23 Comments »
Posted on April 30, 2009 by Dave Stein
I was asked by my friend Charlie Green representing The Customer Collective to contribute to an e-book that was just published. I recommend that you download it, read it and use it.
Selling Through A Slump: An Industry-by-Industry Playbook
A Guide by Salespeople for Salespeople on How to Sell Your Way to Recovery
Download this Free eBook
Selling in a recession is tough. And simply doing more of the same is not the way to survive, much less thrive, in a recession. There are important dos and don’ts in times like these. This eBook is your industry-specific roadmap out of the economic slump.
Selling through a Slump: An Industry-by-Industry Playbook brings together sales strategies and best practices from 11 top sales experts from 11 distinct vertical market sectors, ranging from retail to health care to telecom—because one size doesn’t always fit all. The practical tips and experience-based wisdom here aren’t just limited to any single industry, though. Regardless of your market sector, you’re bound to find value in this arsenal of great sales ideas.
Get access to exclusive tips on how to sell in a recessionary market, from renowned
sales experts like Jill Konrath, Charles Green, and Dave Stein. We know you’ve
got questions—this eBook was created to give you answers.
Click here for valuable sales strategies from experts in every industry:
Charles Green, Founder and CEO, Trusted Advisor Associates
Selling for Accountants and Consultants
Mike Wise, VP, Insurance Technologies, IdeaStar Incorporated
Selling for Insurance Agent
John Caddell, Caddell Insight Group
Selling in Telecommunications Markets
Skip Anderson, Founder, Selling to Consumers Sales Training
Selling for Retailers
Mike Kujawski, Founder,
Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing
Selling to Public Sector Clients
Matt Homann, Founder, LexThink LLC
Selling for Lawyers
Anne Miller, Founder, Chiron Associates Selling Media
Dave Brock, President and CEO,
Partners in EXCELLENCE
Selling to Manufacturers
Jill Konrath, Author, Selling to Big Companies
Selling in Services
Anneke Seley, Founder and CEO, PhoneWorks LLC
Selling in Health Care
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(A simple registration is required)
Brought to you by The Customer Collective and Oracle CRM. Welcome to the conversation.
Filed under: Book Recommendation, Economy, Sales Strategy, Sales Tactics | Tagged: ebook, Recession, selling, slump | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 29, 2009 by Dave Stein
Four workshops down, one to go here in Ireland. No sign of Swine Flu anywhere!
I continue to be amazed by Enterprise Ireland—Ireland’s Department of Commerce. The support they provide start-ups and high-potential Irish companies is something we can all learn a lot from. EI provides funding, programs, advisors, resources, introductions to key decision makers, market research, competitive intelligence, advice on market entry strategies, partnering and acquisition strategies, and what appears to be endless support. They’ve got offices in 31 countries with support in an additional 39.
During the past two weeks I’ve heard story after story from CEOs about how they’ve been helped by Enterprise Ireland. In fact, they’re subsidizing the program for which I am a facilitator.
Although Ireland is suffering through the same recession as we are in the U.S., Enterprise Ireland continues to invest. That investment in many hundreds of companies run by smart, hardworking, and determined CEOs will continue to leave Ireland in the best possible now and coming out of the recession.
There is no question that all this costs a lot of money. We don’t have the stomach for this degree of federal spending in the U.S. Our needs aren’t the same. Ireland depends on exporting its goods and services. Evidently this country of only 4 million considers the significant ongoing investment in Enterprise Ireland, coming out of the pockets of the Irish people, worthwhile.
Photo credit: This blogger, trying on his Swine Flu mask anticipating the Dublin to Boston flight home on Saturday.
Filed under: On the Road | Tagged: Enterprise Ireland | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 26, 2009 by Dave Stein
I’ve written a lot about hiring sales people and sales managers on this blog. ESR knows that the epidemic of ineffective hiring is one of the reasons that sales performance has been so dismal over the years, even before the current economic situation.
The best sales methodology, training, tools, technology, coaching, and reinforcement doesn’t have much impact if the people in the sales jobs don’t have the foundation for selling effectively. It drains the enthusiasm and motivation of the team, wastes money, and forces sales management to spend time selling for the misfits rather than supporting and leading the rest of the team.
I’m in Ireland for two weeks facilitating a series of workshops with Irish CEOs and sales executives. Hiring is a big issue here. The record among Irish companies in this area hasn’t been good.
Here’s a refresher. ESR recommends:
- Build or buy (then customize) a profile-based, structured hiring process;
- Use psychometric and predictive tests as well as income verification and background checks;
- Train hiring teams on the skills required for effective employment of the process, including interviewing and reference checking;
- Don’t by-pass the process under any circumstances;
- Understand that a key to successful hiring is objectivity. Hiring salespeople on gut feel, the old-fashioned way, doesn’t work.
Consider adding a subjective measure or two where appropriate:
- Walk the sales candidate to their car and do a quick appraisal. Clean inside and outside, or junk strewn about? Untreated rust spots? What about those bumper stickers? How would your customers react?
- Invite the candidate and their significant other to a social evening along with you and yours. Dinner in a nice restaurant gets the job done, especially if part of their job is entertaining prospects and customers. Observe how they and their partner communicate for a hint of how they build and maintain relationships.
The definition of A, B and C players differs from sales vp to sales vp. My take is you can’t make C players into B’s, because, by my definition, C’s don’t have the requisite traits. And you can’t train someone to improve what’s in their DNA.
If you follow that logic, you’ll want to never hire a C player again.
Photo credit: © Dmitri MIkitenko – Fotolia.com
Filed under: Hiring, On the Road | Tagged: Hiring, Ireland | 4 Comments »