Archive for the ‘Sales Productivity tools’ Category

Garden of wisdom

  2. Secret to failure is …PROCRASTINATION
  3. Secret to success is …… maximize number of decisions in a day.
  4. Tip for the day:  The success lies not in What to do;  but what to do first ?
  5. You attract what follows “I Am……”
  6. Only OBSTACLE between you and your goal is your DOUBTs
  7. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” Proverb
  8. Learning is CREATING and RECREATING yourself.
  9. With water and sun acorn blossom into an oak tree; with love and encouragement a child develops into a man.
  10. Remember Definition of Rejection = “YOU ARE WORTH MORE”

"10" things I learnt about selling

You had the fortitude to join sales profession.  Now what ?

You must develop few habits and skills to automate the sales activities.  When I said automate I am referring to automating your mindset.  And here are “10” skills that will help you sail through the sales journey.

  1. Always be planning: spend 20% of you time planning your day, week and month in advance. Plan for activities and plan for results.
  2. Always be learning: Learn everything you can learn about selling.  Read “6” best sales methodologies books and explore what is useful and effective.  Use it.
  3. Always Stay hungry. If you are hungry you will visit the restaurant.  Think hungry think customers and always have 10 – 15 active prospects in your plate that you can close this month. 
  4. Always be positive. You lose some and you gain some.  And when you lose some it’s your attitude that will lift you up and it’s your attitude that can let you down. Hence maintain a positive attitude.
  5. Always be genuine: Always be genuine in your commitments and recommendations. Selling is a game of trust relationship.
  6. Always be sincere: Always be sincere.  Treat your prospects and customers as you would like to be treated.
  7. Always be adding value: Go a step further when delivering your commitments.  A little extra service, an early delivery, a little extra wrapping, an extra training will go a long way in maximizing your customer returns.
  8. Always be developing: Spend more resources on yourself than on your job.  Invest on self development.
  9. Always be measuring: Brush up your mathematics skills.  It will help when calculating discount and measuring to retain statistics on your calls, closures, commission, pending and sales figures on the finger tips.
  10. Always be closing: Explore how you can close your business faster and earlier.  How can you reduce the sales cycle?



The Top 10 Sales Training Companies in 2010


One of the few great generals in history who never lost a battle was the Russian general Alexander Suvorov, who explained the roots of his success with his memorable motto: “Train hard and fight easy.” The sales profession is fortunate to have effective thought leaders who have created powerful sales-training and development solutions that help sales managers and salespeople improve their skills. And better skills translate to more valuable customer relationships and increased value to the company”s bottom line. These 10 top sales training solutions can help you and your company create more sales than you ever thought possible.

Action Selling: Action Selling content is based on 5 Critical Selling Skills (Buyer/Seller Relationship, Sales Call Planning, Questioning Skills, Presentation Skills, and Gaining Commitment). Salespeople are taught how to marry their sales process with the customer”s buying-decision process. Salespeople love this training, because it is tailored to their business situations and helps them achieve sales rates that are six times larger. Managers and trainers appreciate the training transfer tools for reinforcement and assessment, which make this program stick.

The Brooks Group: Since the 1970s, The Brooks Group has helped clients develop top-performing salespeople using the consistent, principles-based IMPACT Selling System as a platform for growth. Each engagement is fully customized, incorporating the comprehensive, whole-person TriMetrix assessment to identify strengths and critical development areas within the six-step IMPACT process. New skills are taught via face-to-face classroom delivery, distance learning, or the state-of-the-art IMPACT Virtual Training options, and then reinforced through IMPACT Sales Coaching to ensure long-term improvement and sustainable behavior change.

General Physics: General Physics Corporation creates effective sales professionals through custom learning solutions. The company leverages blended-learning methodologies to develop product and brand advocates. GP”s creative process is aligned exactly with customer expectations, and its approach is proven to increase sales by building product knowledge, sales skills, and sales operations skills. Finally, notes senior VP Dan Miller, GP actually drives the sale by increasing customer brand loyalty with presale product information, after-sale product support, and creative communication campaigns.

Miller Heiman: Miller Heiman helps strengthen an organization”s competitive advantage by improving the effectiveness of the sales force.This year, sales forces will be under intense scrutiny as organizations must raise productivity to deliver top-line results. Miller Heiman”s proven processes, tools, and consulting enable sales transformation initiatives that address this challenge. In the second quarter of 2010, the firm will introduce a new multimedia tool — based on Miller Heiman”s experience and understanding of how salespeople learn — designed to support sales-process

PI Worldwide: PI Worldwide”s Selling Skills Assessment Tool assesses your company”s skills, your sales group”s skills, and those of each individual. “If you have two million-dollar producers, they get there in different ways,” emphasizes CEO Nancy Martini. “This tool gives you insights for better coaching.” With experience in training hundreds of sales forces around the world, PI customizes training to meet any need and fit any restrictions. “When experienced reps are in the room, do not waste their time.”

Profit Builders: Keith Rosen is fanatical about increasing your sales. That”s why almost half of the Fortune 1000 companies and the top companies in six major industries chose his training and coaching solutions. Profit Builders addresses the specific challenges that are unique to your company and then moves beyond traditional training by coaching your salespeople around best practices and best thinking to develop true champions. While Keith”s programs and books have won numerous awards, his bragging rights are earned through more sales and long-lasting results.

Richardson: Richardson is a global sales-performance company that helps leading organizations improve sales results. “We do this in three ways,” says senior VP Frank Donny. “We analyze the structure and talent of your sales force. We train and develop your sales team. We continue development through coaching and reinforcement.” Richardson equips sales leaders and the sales force with skills and strategies needed to win today”s complex sales. Uniquely Richardson creates truly customized solutions that change behavior and provide measurable results.

Sales Readiness Group: Sales Readiness Group is a leading provider of live, online training programs for sales professionals and sales managers. SRG”s virtual training programs offer fast, effective, and flexible skills-based training solutions for organizations looking to maximize their training budgets and minimize time out of the field. Combining live facilitators, innovative instructional design, and its state-of-the-art Live Virtual Classroom training platform, SRG”s training programs provide learners with a highly engaging, interactive “classroom” experience while leveraging the benefits of virtual

The TAS Group: Over the years, The TAS Group has trained more than 650,000 sales professionals. Three years ago, TAS put all of its training skill and experience into on-demand software — Dealmaker — that integrates with the customer relationship management (CRM) systems reps and managers use every day. “This takes training into the real world, making it measurable, reinforceable, and coachable,” says executive VP York Baur. “You get the ongoing reinforcement and results that the classroom does not allow.”

ValueSelling Associates: “Clients love the ValueSelling Framework because it”s pragmatic,” emphasizes ValueSelling Associates president and CEO Julie Thomas. “Sales reps love our approach. They can implement it, and it makes an immediate, positive impact. Every ValueSelling facilitator is a world-class sales executive who can role-model ValueSelling in the classroom.” ValueSelling programs are customizable and global and available in many languages. The firm pioneered e-learning for sales in the 1990s and can leverage e-learning for any sales-training program.


Source :   – October 14, 2011

Work gets done when you have fun

You are known by the company you keep Aesop’s Fable.

This is the half truth, the 100% truth is you are influenced by the company you keep.  The serious company rubs the seriousness on you and the fun company leaves a fun perfume in you.  You might say how is that possible?  Well the scientific research says so and it is based on facts.

And the proof is so powerful that few companies like Scripps Network, include  “humour” as one of their core values. Southwest Airlines encourages its employees to come work with a “warrior spirit, Servants Heart and fun loving attitude.”    The belief is ingrained in the corporate world that the management encourages culture of fun, collaboration and openness.  Boston Pizza employees send one another golden banana awards for “having fun while being the best”; Intuit employee have potluck breakfast and play their own version of jeopardy.

Encouraging culture of fun pays off in retention, employee engagement and increased productivity.   Tomorrow morning when you  wake up, plan to be around people who are fun, upbeat and optimistic because work gets done when you have fun.



Key attributes of successful Sales profession

Sales is one of the oldest professions and many other professions are offspring’s of sales.  Hence, it is no wonder that Sales professionals are multifaceted. They study and imbibe the unique skills & practices of other professions such as Medical practitioners, Insurance agents and teachers, to become more effective.

Medical Practitioners: Practice medicine.  Patients visit them and doctors exercise their domain knowledge and ask relevant questions to find the correct remedy.  Similarly Sales professionals should become customer’s business domain expert and hone their skills of asking question to make the sale.

Insurance Agents: They provide consultancy and advise on insurance covers, be it your physical assets or your physical health. An insurance cover is your umbrella for when a disaster strikes.  Sales professionals should also talk insurance with their customer. How an extra cover can insure their assets are unaffected when and if a tsunami, flood or earthquake strikes. How the business can get back on track with little extra care.

Teachers: They are subject matter experts and students attend their classes to learn. Sales professionals can emulate teachers; become subject matter experts and exercise education based selling.  People love to buy from people who know their craft.

Entrepreneur: They invest, create and partner with others to generate profits.  Sales Professionals should also invest in themselves and their customers and partner with them to create profits.

Artist: They create works of art and people pay for their works. Sales Professionals should create value proposition and play in the Blue Ocean rather than bleed in the Red Ocean.

Actor: Actors are performers. Give them a scenario and they become the part, an old fragile person, a youthful personality or a child.  Sales Professionals are performers too, they reflect gentle or firm as the script demand.

Public speaker: Earn their living by speaking to an audience.  Sales professionals benefit by honing their public speaking skills. Consider it to be as if your life depended on delivering an impactful message.

Every profession has its bright spots and when we choose to practice those bright spots, we choose a life with a difference.


Pearls of wisdom

Vaman Kamath

Couple of years early I purchased a book titled “80/20 CEO” a leadership essential series on Vaman Kamath then Chairman  of ICICI Bank and current Chairman of Infosys.

The book constituting around 80 pages have always fascinated me, with its simple prose and wisdom encapsulated in short book that could be read from a – z in  2 – 4 hours time period. Last friday once again I picked up the book and went to the last chapter titled “Take Aways”.  And am sharing few pearls of wisdom that are ever green, ever shining examples of brilliant living in the business world.  The statements have deep meaning hence read them and absorb them unravel the meaning.

  1. Develop an eye for observation.  Obsession with observation contributes to several parts of learning process and value creation.
  2. You may be a big organization but act like a garage startup.  Apply its 90-day rule and you will be able to make process more effective.
  3. Leaders learn by leading, and they learn best leading in adversity.
  4. Future belongs to learners not knower’s.
  5. Speed is the seed capital in the international and domestic digital world.
  6. Gut feeling has a strategic significance in decision making.
  7. Whenever there is an orbit change there is friction.

Enjoy and savour the “7” pearls of wisdom.



Tips for your next Sales interview.


In the fluid economy, organization are getting leaner but searching for nimble Sales performers.   And if you are a performer expect a call from the recruitment consultants.  Before you step forward to appear for an interview,  do your homework.   Prepare your questions and answers from either side of the table.

“10” Questions to anticipate?

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What do you know about our company?
  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  4. Tell me about your current job.
  5. What is your current sales target and achievements?
  6. Tell me about your best business deal ?
  7. Why do you want to work for our company
  8. Why are you considering leaving your current job ?
  9. Why do you think you are the best candidate for the job?
  10. What are your salary expectations?

“5”  Questions to ask ?

  1. What is your organization sales strategy?
  2. What will be my “12” month sales Targets  ?
  3. What will be my KPI’s  ?
  4. What will be my career growth plan?
  5. How much do you pay ?

Please note that sale is complemented when you appear for an interview.  Either you make the sale or you make a purchase.  But the professionals who prepare from either side of the table emerge the WINNER.


How to find sales leads

Sales Leads

Someone said if you have the best product, the world will beat the way to your door.  That’s not true unless you are a pied piper.  Product is important so do the right  set of prospects.  So how and where do you find prospects for your products?  I am sharing “24” activity, secrets and tips to find prospects for your products.

  1. Get referrals from your friends, customers, suppliers, partners and events.
  2. Sell to your business partners and supplier/customers of your business partners
  3. Sell to your customers &  customers Suppliers and partners
  4. Upsell within your customer organization.
  5. Cross sell within your customers organization
  6. Conduct a marketing email campaign
  7. Advertise in the news paper
  8. Advertise in the online magazine, and online Newspaper
  9. Cold calling
  10. Capture visitors visiting your web
  11. Create a sales pitch on your web site.
  12. Create a  sales pitch web page/Facebook page and use Google addwords.
  13. Requests leads from participants in networking events & forums such as BNI and other
  14. Hire short terms tele sales team on result basis.
  15. Hire contact center services to generate prospects and/or sell for you.
  16. Attend  business forums and pitch your services.
  17. Attend social forums and pitch your business introduction.
  18. Conduct event – Sales; Technology and Education event
  19. Conduct joint sales & marketing events with your partners and others.
  20. Partner with other organsaitons sales team to find leads for your products on bilateral referral basis
  21. Create Twitter account and pitch your services.
  22. Target new business or businesses moving premises or opening branch offices through business forums, Chamber of commerce, Economic department Municipality, Telco’s
  23. Conduct an SMS campaign
  24. Conduct a radio on air campaign.

Enjoy  closing business


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Lessons from History

Greece has the distinction to produce the best philosophers in the history of mankind whose teachings are revered.  Beginning with Socrates, his pupil Plato followed by Aristotle pupil  of Plato.   Aristotle’s teachings of Logos, Ethos and Pathos are considered a pillar of Persuasion.  Aristotle considered Logos to be the paramount ingredient but emphasized all three to be important for leaders to make an impression. What did Ethos, Pathos and Logos principle of persuasion reflect?

Ethos (Credibility): You persuade by being Fair, Knowledgeable, Trustworthy, Authority and considerate.  We tend to believe people whom we respect and consider authority such as Doctors, Judges and someone worth listening to, in other words making yourself as an authority on the subject as well as someone who is likable and worthy of respect.

Pathos (Emotional): You persuade by appealing to the audience emotions. The persuader creates an environment wherein audience feels the same as the persuader. Language choice affects the audience’s emotional response, and emotional appeal can effectively be used to enhance an argument and persuade your audience.

Logos (Logical): You persuade by being thoughtful, providing good reasoning, facts and evidence.  This is an academic appeal. This was Aristotle’s favorite because he believed that giving reasons is the heart of argumentation, and cannot be emphasized enough.

Hence, learning, practicing and mastering the three principals can increase your effectiveness.  And if Aristotle appeared in the in the 20th century how would he have categorized the 20th century leaders?  Probably his observations would reflect…

Winston Churchill to be a high Pathos followed by Logos and Ethos.

Nelson Mandela to be a high Ethos followed by pathos and Logos.

Mahatma Gandhi to be a high Ethos followed by Pathos and Logos.

King Martin Luther to be a high Pathos followed by Logos and Ethos.

President Kennedy to be a high Pathos followed by Logos and Ethos.

Aristotle’s  three  principals of persuasion are corroborated  by numerous bestselling authors, teachers and so do the 20th century research in the field of persuasion.  And every effort reflects in unison that the road map to successful persuasion is not a mystery but a History made 2600 years ago by Aristotle.

Switch for Sales…

Profession “Sales” is as tough as any other profession. You have as many challenges as you will find in being a cab driver or CEO of an organization.  Not enough sales, not enough customers, Price too high, customer has standardized, customers buy from reputed vendors, competition, customer retention are some of the challenges we come upon.

To succeed faster professionals invest USD in mentors and coaches.  The limitation; is mentors and coaches are limited by their time and accurately comprehend the human emotions.  On the flip side BOOKS are a perfect Coach, Friend and a mentor. They are besides you, when you want them and even when you don’t.

Two months ago I bought the book “Switch” authored by Dan and Chip heath. SWITCH makes a fascinating study in CHANGE.  Fascinating because it is written in Simple, Unpredictable, Credible, Concrete, Emotions and Story format; ensuring that the book sticks and it’s lessons stick too.  The author says, supported by scientific research that for a successful CHANGE to happen three things should happen; 1st change should happen in head @ practical level, 2nd change should happen at emotional level @ heart and 3rd target should clearly see the road map with measurable results. In other words SWITCH takes an analogy of a rider riding an elephant and the path.  For example HEAD/RIDER knows he has to get up early in the morning and exercise to stay healthy, but on the flip side ELEPHANT/EMOTIONS that is huge wants to sleep a little bit more in the morning and probably exercise next morning.  Now in this case the two have to be motivated and also shown the end point to make an effective change.  This is the philosophy of Book SWITCH narrated in 9 principals.

The principals outlined in the books are common across Sales, Personnel development and everything which entails bringing in CHANGE for better.  Read my translation of applying “SWITCH” philosophy for Sales…. The 9 principals of CHANGE like the 9 lives of a cat……. Read on……..

  • Philosophy # 1 (Head) : “Find out what’s working and how you can do more of it.”
  • Sales perspective: Find a bright spot and replicate it. Find what is working in selling “that’s your bright spot”, duplicate it.  When you successfully sell a solution to a company, productise it and resell the package to other business in the similar business stream.

  • Philosophy # 2 (Head): Script the critical moves.  “Don’t think big picture, think in terms of specific behaviour.”
  • Sales Perspective: Decision paralysis – Never  give multiple options to your prospects.  Give them one option and explain why this option is better than others.
  • Script the proven and successful sales process and repeat it with your prospects to create new sales.
  • Breakdown the customers buying process into baby steps and address one step at time making it easier for your prospect to move forward – small change at a time.
  • Philosophy # 3 (Head) : Point to the destination.  ““Change is easier when you know where you  are going and why its worth it.”
  • Sales Perspective: Give them business ROI, when and how the solution will pay for itself?
  • Show them how it will benefit them in 6 months – in 12 months down the time line?
  • How it will enhance their business revenue, customer relations, reputation and others?
  • Philosophy # 4 (Heart): Find the feeling.  “Knowing something is not enough to cause change.  Make people feel something.”
  • Sales Perspective: Touch their hearts: Appeal to their emotions.
  • Show them how your product will help them increase the market share and what will it mean to them and to their business reputation.
  • How your product or services will attract new customers and what will new customers mean to them i.e more revenue – more payout to employees and promotions.
  • Philosophy # 5 (Heart)  : Shrink the change: Break down the change until it no longer spooks the elephant.
  • Sales Perspective: breakdown your sales process into small steps.  Provide OPEX model, provide easy payment terms. Extend a planned purchase plan thus reducing the financial and sudden change pressure.
  • Philosophy # 6 (Heart) : Grow your people.  “Cultivate a sense of identity and instil the growth mindset.”
  • Sales Perspective :  Educate your customers and become a consultant.
  • Educate your sales team make them consultant to your customers, instill a feeling of identity in your team and in your customer being associated with your business.
  • Philosophy # 7 (Shape the path): Tweak the environment.  “Tweaking the environment is about making the right behaviours a little bit easier and the wrong behaviours a little bit harder.”
  • Sales Perspective :Operate and sell when it’s convenient to your customers.
  • Make it convenient for the customers to make financial decision – easier payment terms, Opex, Bank facilities, onsite engineer, faster delivery, convenient packagining and integration with their exiting processes.
  • Philosophy # 8(Shape the path) : Build habits.  “when the behaviour is habitual its free—it does not tax the rider.  Look for ways to encourage habits.”
  • Sales Perspective : Simply your purchase process. Make it convenient and addiction for your customer to purchase from you.
  • Retain your customers and encourage them to come back again and again until you become the defacto partner.
  • Automate the purchase process extending better options, convenience and commercials.
  • Philosophy # 9 (Shape the path) : Rally the herd.  “Behaviours is contagious.  Help it spread.”
  • Sales Perspective: Request your existing customer to talk to your prospect.
  • Arrange a customer forum and invite prospects to meet with your existing customers and sell you and your services.
  • Referral selling, build customer case studies and customer testimonials and let these tools do the selling.


Enjoy practicing……………

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