Most sales professionals hit the ground running every work day, focused on meeting with customers and prospects, doing what we can to move deals forward, and completing a multitude of other tasks necessary to get the job done. Often the weeks fly by without the chance to step back to take a breath and look at the bigger picture. But one of the most impactful things you can do for your business is to take the time to re-establish priorities and objectives for the coming year. Most larger companies have formal planning processes but smaller businesses and individuals often neglect this aspect of their business.
For most sales people, their focus and priorities are governed by their employer’s objectives. This works well for setting annual sales goals and associated job duties. But the business climate is changing at an astoundingly fast pace. Companies and individuals who don’t keep their finger on the pulse of industry changes miss the opportunity to stay in front of the competition. This translates to lost sales and credibility gaps with customers.
Looking for ways to reenergize your sales focus and stay on top of trends? Follow these tips:
- At least once a quarter, meet with your sales team to share insights on any new trends, concerns or opportunities you are seeing in your market over and above the day to day operational focus.
- Make sure you subscribe to at least two trade magazines, BLOGS or RSS feeds to keep up industry changes and announcements.
- Schedule time on your weekly calendar to actually read the magazines, BLOGS and feeds.
- Make a mental point to share your insights with customers and business partners to heighten your credibility as a go-to expert.
- Network with peers and new prospects on an ongoing basis. Networking is one of the most effective ways to find prospects and keep up to date with your local market.
- Attend at least one tradeshow or industry specific training event annually to maximize your exposure and keep up with new learnings.
Read More »
Tags: Cisco, karin surber, partner, sales
In my previous Cisco Blog post, I discussed the business models an ISV can deploy in moving to the Cloud. In this Cisco Blog, I’ll discuss one of the most important parts of any software company’s business model: the cost of sales.
Cost of Sales is Highest Cost for any Software Business
Read More »
Tags: Cloud Computing, Cloud Marketing, cloud providers, Enterprise, isv, sales, software
Years ago I once read that a sale doesn’t happen until there is a transfer of energy from one party to another party. I believe this to be 100 percent true. Your customer won’t buy from you unless they believe they or their company is going to benefit in some way. The prospect of that happening is exciting to them. The enthusiasm you feel about your solution is transferred to your customer and the deal is closed.
Now, this transfer of positive energy is almost never going to happen if you don’t believe in what you are selling. You can go present your solution to the customer, talk about how wonderful it is and what value it will bring, but if you don’t truly believe what you are saying, your customers will always pick up on that unspoken message. No matter how hard you try, you cannot fake it. It’s human nature that our hidden feelings about our ideas on something will ultimately betray our spoken word.
Imagine this scenario. You are in a presentation with a new prospect. This is a huge opportunity for you. You team has spent hours designing the optimal solution for your customer. It’s a full room. Your boss is there. The CEO of your customer is there, but you are feeling conflicted. The company you work for has had serious quality issues during the past year and the resolution experience has not been good for customers. You’ve had multiple complaints and some recent project experiences have gone horribly bad. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, karin surber, partner, Partner Plus, sales
Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
Off the Top
Since we have a short week in the United States due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, I won’t take up too much of your time today, but you should definitely check out Karin Surber’s blog from this week. Karin always has great insights into the sales force and this week is no different.
Karin was here this week to talk about “thermalizing” and “dollarizing” in order to build your protective sales bubble. Want to know what that means? Well, in short it boils down to expanding your reach within a customer account once you’ve landed a preliminary deal, but for the details that make for a top notch read, be sure to read Karin’s blog and let us know what you think! Read More »
Tags: Cisco, karin surber, partner, sales, Weekly Rewind
Landing the first deal is just the beginning of the customer journey. Many sales professionals make the mistake of closing and immediately moving on to the next opportunity. But once you’ve got your foot in the door of a new account, why abandon your newly found customer credibility when it can be leveraged to uncover additional business there?
Expanding your reach within an account by asking to be introduced to managers of additional lines of business is an excellent way to cultivate new opportunities and build a protective barrier against the competition, in effect “thermalizing yourself.” Thermalizing entails asking your new customer to sponsor your introduction to other lines of business, fostering relationships with those contacts and developing opportunities for additional sales. The more entrenched you are in the customer account, the more credibility you build and less likely the competition will get their foot in the door.
Thermalizing is much more effective than cold calling net new accounts. With new accounts, you are always starting at “Square One” from a credibility perspective. In contrast, referrals from existing customers have much higher close rates, shorter sales cycles and tend to be more profitable. You add significant value to a customer when you have successful experience working with them and understand the way they do business. Customers know there will be a learning curve if they work with another vendor. So you automatically have an advantage. Learning to perfect the art of Thermalizing is key to maximizing your effectiveness as a Sales Professional. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, dollarizing, karin surber, partner, sales, thermalizing