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Sales Tips From Jonathan London

Sales Tip: Technology is a Double Edge Sword

Posted on Tue, Oct 22, 2013

double edge swordThe Ubiquity of Technology and Data is a Double-Edged Sword.

On one hand, the sheer volume of information can make selling more difficult. It can become unwieldy, confusing, and overwhelming to you and your prospects, thus hurting your sales efforts. However, if you know how to control and use it, know which bits of information are important and which are a distraction, you are in an enviable position to sell more. How you best engage with technology and information and use it to your advantage to get the optimal return is paramount. Salespeople need to become master craftsmen, able to do things with the tools they have better than their competitors. This has always been true but more so now because of the impact technology is having. 

As a salesperson, the best and easiest way to do this is to know who you want to sell to (title of person and/or industry) and use that as your filter for information. This could be in addition to the personas are developing for you in their own marketing efforts.

Used properly, technology allows us to expand our skills and markets, get greater exposure, and allow more people to find us so we have more sales opportunities. It allows us to differentiate ourselves which is becoming harder and more important.

Let’s look at one of the issues arising in today’s sales world from this onslaught of technology.

Technology and the Web Can Commoditize All Offerings

From the buyer’s side, the abundance of products and services to choose from is much greater than ever before. For example, if you enter the words “managed hosting” into a Google search box you will get more than 9 million results. The dilemma of deciphering the differences can be so overwhelming that buyers will often simplify their decisions by making price the deciding factor and lumping all the other variables into a “they’re all pretty much the same” category. This makes it easier for them to decide. They might not give you as much time, either, because of the time pressures they are under or the medium you are using. (In general, people give you less time virtually than they do in person.)

Vendors contribute to customers’ penchant to commoditize an offer in large part by using the same terms or labels as each other. For example, many vendors in the managed hosting business (companies that host websites for businesses) use the same terms, such as “24/7 support,” to compete and differentiate themselves. What this term doesn’t tell a buyer is how many people are available at any one time during their 24/7 support, or how well trained or qualified they are. Salespeople therefore need to make sure that their offer is presented in a way that is differentiated from others.

So companies and salespeople need to learn to differentiate themselves, be more skilled in a way that has meaning to the prospect and helps them stand out from the competition. This not a technology issue, this is a sales/skill issue which needs to be paid attention to.

Tags: Sales Skills, Sales Advice, Sales Training, b2b Sales, technology enabled selling, sales technology, Internet

2nd Half Goals - What Do You Do When You Don't Know What to Do?

Posted on Tue, Aug 28, 2012

SMART Goals Fotolia 11872580 XS

Before we answer that question we should ask why you don’t know what to do? It is probably because you haven’t established your own S.M.A3.R.T. goals which stands for:
  •   Specific
  •   Measurable
  •   Aligned, Agreed, Achievable
  •   Realistic
  •   Timed
Some examples of S.M.A3.R.T. goals would be:
  •    I want to make X amount of money in the 2nd half of 2012
  •    I want to be x% of quota for Q3 and Q4 2012
  •    I want to be the #1 salesperson for all 2012
To achieve your goal you need to establish and work your priorities. If you follow these selling techniques or selling skills you will always know what to do (whether you do it or not is up to you). Some examples of priorities to sell more in the 2nd half are:
  •     Learn my new product/s
  •     Learn how to win against my biggest competitors
  •     Get 3 more appointments per week
  •     Close my 3 largest deals
  •     Identify my top 10 accounts – new and existing
  •     Get better at proposals and presentations
  •     Use my executives more to win
  •     Work 2 more hours a day
  •     Sell more of XYZ which is my most competitive product
  •     Use Google alerts to get 3 more appointments per week

You should only have 3-4 priorities per quarter and these should be re-evaluated each quarter to see if they need to be continued or new ones needed to be added to your sales strategy.

So if you still don't know what to do if you don't know what to do, just do one of your priorities. If you don't know what they are, or you are stuck, ask somebody for help. Or download the form and use it. You can always email me for help if you like. 


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Tags: Time Management, Sales Advice, Sales Strategies, b2b Sales, Sales Tips, Sales Effectiveness, S.M.A.R.T. goals and priorities, Sales Productivity, technology enabled selling, sales technology

Technology For Every Stage of the Sales Process

Posted on Wed, May 02, 2012

Technology for Every Stage of the Sales Process

Every profession goes through transitions and technological improvements. The equipment that Tiger Woods uses today (no pun intended) is better than Jack Nicklaus'. The tennis racquets that Roger Federer uses is far superior to John McEnroe. Baseballs and gloves are far more sophisticated today than in the days of The Original Bronx Bombers of Ruth and Gehrig (that's for all my Red Sox fans). And I am glad my dentist uses the equipment she does and I don’t have to be in pain when she works on me.

Sales technology has also made quantum leaps. There is amazing technology for every stage of the sales process (be on the lookout in July for my newest book "Technology and Selling") but salespeople or sales organizations don't take as much advantage as they should. I think most organizations pick and choose one or two technologies to help salespeople. CRM is a favorite although most salespeople would beg to differ. E-mail doesn’t count any more.  It is plumbing. Maybe some companies are using some conferencing technology or great slide share technology, the next generation of PowerPoint, but little else.

There are amazing technologies for every stage of the sales process beginning with prospecting through the negotiation stage.

Imagine if you had technology that:
• made your prospecting more effective to get more appointments
• guided, tutored and supported you during your initial meeting
• allowed you to create the sexiest proposals, presentations and demonstrations
• build better teams and strategies to win bigger deals
• show you how to have a better negotiation and advantage so you didn’t give away so much and negotiated better
• gave you back one or two more hours a day to work or live.

Well they are all available, many don't cost much or anything at all and can standalone or integrate with your CRM.

So why don't sales people take advantage of this?  Several potential reasons:
1. they don't know about them
2. they are too dependent on having things done for them
3. they don't want to be bothered
4. they are doing well without

And why don't companies take advantage:
1. they don’t know about them
2. they don’t want to spend the money
3. it takes people to choose and support and that costs money which they don’t want to spend
4. they can’t get people to use what they have already invested in, like CRM or web conferencing

Tell me what you think? And if you want a free chapter of my new book.

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Tags: Sales Skills, Sales, Sales Advice, Sales Training, Sales Strategies, Sales Effectiveness, Prospecting, b2b lead generation, Sales Productivity, Sales Process, Social Media, technology enabled selling, sales management, Presentations, sales technology