• This Blog Is Inactive!

    On of May 8, 2009, I moved my blog over to a new domain: DaveSteinsBlog.ESResearch.com

    I will no longer be posting on this URL. Comments will not be moderated. More information.

  • ESR’s STVG

    Here is ESR's highly acclaimed Sales Training Vendor Guide, Third Edition.

Selling Through The Slump: An eBook

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


Click Here to Download

(A simple registration is required)

Brought to you by The Customer Collective and Oracle CRM. Welcome to the conversation.

Another Opinion About Selling In This Economy

Read McKinsey’s recent article, The downturn’s new rules for marketers (registration required).

I was pleasantly surprised to see some sound advice about sales organization function and structure in the article.   The real meat for those of us on the sales side is near the end of the piece, beginning with, “Reprioritizing sales function.”

There is no shortage of advice about selling during this recession floating around the Internet these days.  What ESR’s clients are more interested in is not quick sales tips, but alternatives for territory coverage, resourcing, sales organization structure, and value proposition relevancy.

What concerns me is that many sales leaders in trouble will jump at any idea.  Some of those I speak with are doing exactly that.  The McKinsey article will hopefully convince you to assess your situation carefully first.  A strategy that can help one company reduce a projected revenue shortfall by 10 or 15% may make things considerably worse for another.

Your sales people need direction, motivation and firm leadership (among other things).  There couldn’t be a worse time than now for the ready, fire, aim approach.

Graphic credit: © Adrian Hillman – Fotolia.com

Is Now The Time To Invest In Sales Effectiveness?

For the moment, we’re busy at ESR.   During the past few weeks, even during this economic high-speed wobble, a number of companies became actively involved in exploring with us how they can improve the effectiveness of their salespeople.  Another good sign:  we’ve been selling more reports, especially our 2008 Sales Training Vendor Guide and our Understanding, Defining and Meeting Your Sales Training Requirements.  How long will this last?  I wish I knew. 

One client’s senior executive said to me, “We have to make sure we get a bigger piece of a smaller pie.” 

York Baur of The TAS Group told me on the phone today that he expects some of his company’s clients will figure, “Hey, my P&L is blown away anyway.  Wemight as well take the time now to invest in sales productivity.”

Another of our clients is on a quest to refine their selling and client relationship processes with an emphasis on competing more effectively.  They are going to be impacted by the inevitable mergers and acquisitions that will take place and want to be competitively advantaged when they have to either displace an incumbent or protect their own account.

Smart moves by smart executives.

Sales Training Company Revenue Models

I was on the phone today with an associate from a private equity firm. 
He found ESR on the web and was interested in our opinion on a number of topics
as a foundation for his firm acquiring one or more sales training companies.  He
asked how sales training companies were generally doing during this
recession.  He pondered how a services-based company could weather these types
of economic downturns, correctly observing that it’s hard to find good talent
when the economy is strong and when there is a downturn, you run the risk of
having expensive, non-billable talent on the bench.  “Tough to grow a business
that way,” he said.

Next the comparison of training classes versus daily consulting came up.  I explained how sales training companies make significantly more margin from training classes than consulting.  In fact, many training companies only  do classroom training and are not at all interested in the assessment, methodology, process, customization, design, technology enablement, coaching and post-program support work that we believe is vital to a successful sales performance improvement intervention.  Why is that their approach? Margins!  A classroom day generates a lot more margin than a consulting day.  As a rule of thumb, a training day generates between 600 to 800% more margin than a consulting day. 

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