Archive for the ‘Sales’ Category

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

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.


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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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……………

8 Weapons of Influence

This Article appeared in  “THE KHALEEJ TIMES” – OPENSPACE on July 27, 2011

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” Life reflects success once you bring change in others.  And the change equals Influence.  People of influence are prized and successful; the questions is “Is the influence part of the human DNA or it can be learnt?”

Robert B Cialdini in his bestselling book “Influence; Psychology of Persuasion “ identifies “6” weapons of influence and these can be learnt.  The knowledge of influence when applied would and should results in successful outcome.

The principals of Influence can be applied in selling, conducting business, delivering speeches and every scenario where a change is expected.  Hence it becomes a very powerful arsenal and the Book to be missed at your own RISK.  The six principal identified in the book are

–      Reciprocity

–      Commitment and consistency

–      Social proof

–      Authority

–      Liking and Scarcity

I have identified two more weapons to the arsenal of Influence and they are

–      Find a buddy

–      Become Story teller

Let’s take closer look at the 8 weapons of “Influence”

  • Reciprocity: This is part of the human DNA.  People tend to return a favor.  If you invite them out for meal they will return the favour by inviting you for the meal.  If you click LIKE on Facebook,  the other person is most likely to Click on Like on your post.  Hence people can use this weapons to influence change – make a sales, secure business and garner support.  The best strategy to deploy whenever you visit an audience is to ask who I can help and how can I help ?  The bigger or unexpected the favour,  the bigger is the return.    like Zig Ziggler said “ If you want to succeed in life , help enough people to succeed”
  • Commitment and Consistency: If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor that commitment because of establishing that idea or goal as being congruent with their self image. Even if the original incentive or motivation is removed after they have already agreed, they will continue to honor the agreement.   Hence in any transaction work towards getting a compliance to a smaller request  that is in congruence with the your larger request to follow
  • Social Proof: People will do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders would then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. At one point this experiment aborted, as so many people were looking up that they stopped traffic. Hence utilize the weapon when making sale – use the customers testimonials to support your case.
  • Authority: People will obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts.  Because people trust authority.  Having said that to add human touch and make it more convincing it’s important that Authority figure also share the negative or the weakness and this reflects the human part wherein people perceive that authority is knowledgeable about strength and weakness and also a human thus resulting in influencing a change.
  • Liking : People  do business with people they like.  They are easily persuaded by people they like or share something in common.  Hence identify what is common between you and your target audience and share with them  to influence decision.
  • Scarcity: Scarcity creates demand and we all are aware of it. Christmas season limited toys availability creates lines outside the small.  Limited time offer, one time offer are a ploy to create demand and positively influence decisions towards purchase.  Hence during the sale process identify what is unique to your proposition that is not available with your competitor and highlight that to influence.
  • Find a buddy: identify a third party who would highlight your strength and sell your credentials. And once it’s done your job of influence becomes a cake walk.  Politicians and Hollywood/Bollywood personalities deploy this ploy to influence.
  • Be a story teller: Become a story teller. Put yourself in the story to connect with your audience. People buy from people and stories are the best medium to deliver sticky message and create influence.  Hence become an expert in telling your stories.


This Article appeared in  “THE KHALEEJ TIMES” – OPENSPACE on July 27, 2011

Experiences sell

This morning when I visited Spinney’s supermarket; I purchased USD 60 worth more items than I had planned for. On my way back,  kept wondering how did I get CONNED into spending more.

All great organization sell, cross sell, upsell through providing a better experience to the consumers.  No wonder the money flows out of consumers pocket without hesitation.  Great organization makes it very convenient to transact business. They think customers and they continue thinking and applying practices that will make customers experiences unique and momentous.

On the flip side People pay for EXPERIENCES, people come back for better EXPERIENCES and they continue coming back for an experience.  Like change, EXPERIENCE is never constant and always changing.  Unlike change, EXPERIENCE is in the mind, a good experience or not so good experience; its all in the eye of the beholder.  But you as an individual sometime hold the magic wand to contribute to others EXPERIENCES.  And the more successfully you contribute towards others experience; the more successful you emerge.


Enjoy Experiencing………

How to over achieve your sales targets ?

Sales profession is a self driven profession wherein you got to get up early and meet prospects day after day.   It is a number game,  the more customer you meet the more successful you are.

But How do you motivate yourself to do so ?  Simple get a sales buddy, who will follow up with you at the end of every day.

  1. Did you call upon “10” prospects ?
  2. Did you visit “5” customers/prospects ?
  3. Did you send  “5”  quotations ?
  4. Did you read your sales script and improve upon it ?
  5. Did you read & improve your education on your products?

With buddy on your back,  you will realize that you are beginning to practice the best practices and sooner you will find success.

Great Team; Great Product; Great Organization


Sales leaders are continuously exploring, how to improve the sales revenue?   When I focused on the question, the answer began to appear.

If you ask your customer why did he buy your product?  You will get back an answer in absolute terms.

–      I bought it because of your SALES TEAM.

–      I bought it because of your ORGANIZATION brand image.

–      I bought it because of your PRODUCT brand image.

Now if you sit back and ponder over the answer; you will realize that at any given time there are two pillars to capitalize on.  If your customer crossed his cheque because of your SALES TEAM, it reflects that there is a room to capitalize on  your Organizations and Product brand.  And if he crossed cheque because of your Product brand image, then there is potential to capitalize on your Sales team and your Organizations brand image.

A great organization would work on all THREE PILLARSGreat Team; Great Product; Great Organization..……… realize their Vision & Mission.


How to increase sales revenue ?

How do you INCREASE  Sales Revenue year on year ?

This is a perennial question that challenges management of every company. After pondering I could think of two parameters that would contribute towards increase in the sales revenue i.e

  1. Increase sales targets of your field force.
  2. Increase head count of your field force.

The irony is many of the organizations fail to provide meaningful answers; how can field sales force achieve the increased sales targets ?  And this is one of the major factor  that field force feels let down year after year.   However there are four distinct areas through which field sales force achieve the increased sales targets ?

  1. Sell Additional new products.
  2. Sell in the new territory.
  3. Bright spot: Upsell and cross sell in your existing customers.
  4. Increase effectiveness through training.

The 2nd aspect is to increase the sales force head count ; that requires pure mathematical skills to mirror the organization revenue targets. This includes increasing your

  1. internal sales team head count.
  2. your reseller’s head count.
  3. your resellers team head count.

Having said that there is a NEW angle to the Increase your head count and i.e. Virtual Sales Force or automating your sales cycle such as being achieved by giants including;; Zappos; Dell’s direct selling model and others. This is about developing an effective eCommerce platform/Virtual Sales Force and automating the marketing, sales, quotations, order booking and collection process; thus selling 24×7  across the globe.


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