Some things in business are very clear and binary: A company succeeds or fails. A customer buys from you or from someone else. A customer returns for additional sales or leaves for a competitor.Other things are indeed relative: Sales numbers may be double the previous quarter but still fall below expectations. A customer returns for additional sales but resists buying more because of satisfaction issues. A deal falls through, but the prospect would have been a poor fit as a customer.In all these cases, the context in which they are seen has a lot to do with whether they are good or bad things.The trend to evaluate sales reps is a little like that. The A players blast past their quotas regularly and adapt to changes -- such as new products and sales procedures -- with little trouble. B players deliver satisfactory results, but may miss their quotas at times. The C players almost always miss quota and often are marked for termination by their management.This is all relative. Ideally, you … [Read more...] about OPINION Are Your Sales Tools Turning A-Performers Into B-Performers?
Sales increase techniques
It's becoming increasingly clear that the nature of the sales profession is changing.Salespeople are no longer the ones who introduce products to their customers -- in most cases, especially in business-to-business settings, customers have done a lot of research on their own and are close to a decision before they talk to a salesperson.This trend, which has been long in coming, has some people in sales panicked. Forrester earlier this year predicted that 1 million B2B salespeople in the U.S. would lose their jobs to self-service e-commerce by 2020. That amounts to one-fifth of the B2B sales force.That's a scary number.There's some reasonable thinking behind this: Salespeople who are merely "order takers" will become obsolete and easily can be replaced by technology in many cases. The arrival of the Internet of Things will enable devices to buy automatically -- think of a copier ordering its own toner replacements, or a company car that can order its own new tires and schedule a service … [Read more...] about OPINION 3 Ways CRM Can Help Sales in the IoT Era
Yahoo has notified potential buyers that it plans to auction off about 3,000 patents and will be accepting bids until mid-June, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.The intellectual property for sale includes patents for its original search technology. Yahoo has hired Black Stone IP to run the auction, according to the WSJ. The patents "cover strategic areas such as search, e-commerce and online advertising," said Andreas Scherer, managing partner at Salto Partners.It's "very much like selling the crown jewels. It's safe to assume that the days of Yahoo as a standalone business are numbered," he told the E-Commerce Times. "Naturally, companies such as Alphabet and Microsoft will take a close look at this merchandise."Following is a sampling of the patents on offer:Content-based billingA computerized advertising offer exchange A method and system for serving ads Techniques for increasing the recall and recognition rate for Internet display adsA Sell through rate evaluation framework … [Read more...] about Yahoo to Have Giant Patent Garage Sale
Four business marketing strategies can boost business-to-business sales conversion rates by up to 25 percentage points, based on results of a survey Altman Vilandrie released this week.However, only 15 percent of businesses fully take advantage of them.Even those that do use the strategies sometimes fail to maximize sales conversions because of a lack of coordination and integration.The four strategies:standardizing lead handoffs;employing lead scoring;creating detailed customer maps; andcoordinating between sales and marketing departments. Researchers polled 190 B2B marketing decision makers at U.S. companies with annual revenues of at least US$100 million. They also interviewed B2B marketers and relied on the industry experience of the firm's own consultants for the study. Standardizing lead handoffs from marketing to sales would increase marketing qualified lead (MQL) conversion rates by 13 to 17 percentage points, the study found. However, only 35 percent of B2B marketer … [Read more...] about 4 Marketing Strategies That Can Boost B2B Sales: Study
There are three key moments when salespeople can maximize the value in a customer relationship instead of allowing it to leak out, according to Corporate Visions, which announced a new sales skills program on Thursday.Those three turning points occur during deal negotiations, when securing customer renewals, and introducing strategic price increases, the company said."Traditional negotiations training programs have focused heavily on deal negotiations," said Tim Riesterer, chief strategy and research officer at Corporate Visions, "so they've covered the first of the three areas."Certain egregious sales behaviors -- including indiscriminate discounting to secure a deal -- have led both companies that bought training and those that offered it to believe focusing on negotiations was sufficient, "with documented payback in reduced discounting and increased deal profitability," Riesterer told CRM Buyer.With the sales, purchase and usage process evolving into more of a Products as a Service … [Read more...] about Changing B2B Marketplace Calls for New Sales Skills