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We can all benefit from thinking like a ‘freak’

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Freakonomics

Steven Levitt, the co-author of Freakonomics, SuperFreakonomics, Think like a Freak and When to Rob a Bank, defines thinking like a freak as: “…putting away your moral compass and not worrying about what the answer “should” be, but focusing on what the answer really is. It means thinking hard about causality. It means going beyond the obvious to consider all the possibilities — but still being willing to accept the obvious.”

When businesses, and especially, sales teams and sales ...

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Align your sales process to the buying process

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To engage with customers, sales people need to think like their customers.

What this means is that salespeople have to go about learning and understanding how customers buy. Sales people know, at all times, where their prospects are in their sales cycle. The problem is that they aren’t as clued up on where their prospects are in their own buying cycle. Most sales managers would say that knowing where buyers are in the purchase process is Selling 101. But ...

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Metrics for measuring Solution Selling

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As many formerly product-focused companies migrate to selling solutions, most overlook one critical component – the way they measure sales performance.

Sales people, using a solution-selling approach, generally nurture larger, more complex and lucrative deals; they are engaging in business-level discussions with key executives in prospect companies and invest heavily in building long-term, trust-based relationships with key decision makers. But in many instances, companies measure their success using the old transaction-based sales metrics.

Making the shift to solution selling is ...

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Hone your targeting skills to win more sales

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Investing quality time with prospects delivers better margins and displaces your competitors.

One of the time-tested methods for surviving a tough or slow economy is to home in on prospects who match the profile of your most successful customers. This may sound like Sales 101 but it’s worth your attention right now because when times get tough, the opposite happens – namely, desperation can make it tempting to pounce on any lead that ‘wanders in the door’.

Instead, invest more ...

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Networking events – traps & opportunities

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Networks of well-connected people are critical in business and societies.

Cultivating a network of trusted and reliable colleagues, peers, friends and associates is key to a healthy society. Strong, resilient and trusted relationships need to be found, formed and forged over time.

The likes of LinkedIn, Facebook and other digital platforms have made it much easier to search for and connect with relevant people, be they prospective clients, contractors, new recruits, suppliers, business partners, or friends.

Being social creatures most of ...

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Learning Agility

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Salespeople traditionally find themselves in conflicting spaces. A classic situation is the challenge to bring the diverging interests of clients (e.g. lower prices, discounts) and the organisations these salespeople are representing (higher prices, better margins) together. In that capacity, they have to be skilled as mediators, translators, and problem solvers.

Currently, a very different polarity is demanding attention from sales people as well as sales managers and L&D specialists supporting them. It’s the tension between the growing complexity of ...

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‘How to manage and help salesmen’ – lessons from ’60

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You might be taken aback by the sexist nature of the title of this article ’How to manage and help salesmen’.

However, if you take into account that this title comes from a book written in 1960 by Charles B. Roth you might be a bit more forgiving.

Much of what is written in this book is about honourable business practices, fair and decisive leadership, care for customers, effective coaching and support of teams, and above all, respect and dignity ...

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Is your sales problem really a sales leadership problem?

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If you look at the overwhelming content on the internet about sales problems and issues it focuses mostly on salespeople and their performance…. “how to sell more” is the most common search term.

However, very little effort is directed towards sales leadership and frontline sales management.

According to international research on Sales Training and Sales Force Effectiveness, many Sales Leaders and Frontline Sales Managers are given very little or no support when it comes to being a competent, effective ...

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No Pain, No Change = No Sale

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It happens often that what may seem so obvious to us may not be obvious to the client or on their agenda at all.

Perceived pain

Why? Simply put, if the client or prospect does not perceive or admit to having an issue, a problem, a challenge, some difficulty they want to overcome, or even an opportunity they want to ignite then they will not perceive the need to change what they are doing now.

And even if they can see ...

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Sales is still the elephant in the room

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Sales, anyone?

Have you noticed that nearly everyone you meet from CEOs and leaders to professionals services firms, not-for-profits and universities, to the people in the street want to do anything but actually sell and talk about sales?

Many of them will tell you that they want to grow their businesses, deliver better revenue and profits, drive better customer experiences, be taken more seriously by their clients, build better relationships, attract more customers, etc.

To achieve these things they will tell ...

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