Are you feeling the burn of the summer slump? A study by Captivate Network found that workplace productivity takes a 20% hit during the summer months. The study also found that attendance decreases by 19% and projects take 13% more time to complete.
Sales requires constant communication. You’re either writing an email, crafting a proposal or sales presentation, gathering information over the phone, asking questions during a meeting, listening to a client’s feedback, and the list goes on. Salespeople have to be expert communicators. This is especially true since the buying process has changed. Buyers are more informed, which gives them more power. In fact, according to an Accenture study, 94% of B2B buyers say they actually conduct online research before making a buying decision. And guess what? A report from Forrester stated that 59% of buyers prefer to do research online instead of consulting a sales professional because they believe that salespeople are likely to push their agenda rather than focusing on solving the problem.
The right sales training for your employees is integral to the success of your business. Before you invest, make sure you have all of the information you need to make a smart decision.
Competitive selling is a combination of three things: mindset, competition, and positioning Let’s explore each: Mindset Competitive selling starts with your mindset. Your mindset is motivated and empowered. You are not driven by income, but rather from the satisfaction, challenge, and personal achievement that a career in sales affords. It also means you see sales as a game to play, to have fun with and to win. Competition You’re ruthless about understanding the industry (or industries) your solution serves as well as getting to know the competitors you’re likely to face on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean you’re constantly comparing yourself to the competition, it simply means you’re knowledgeable about what they offer and how your solution is unique and different. Positioning (Point-of-View) Your positioning or point-of-view is a particular attitude or way of considering a matter. It’s your position and passion towards the solution you’re selling and the people, companies and industries you help. When combined, these three elements give you the ability to leverage competitive selling as an approach and strategy.
Sales has changed quite a bit in recent years. This is because of new technological developments and a general shift in attitudes and behaviors regarding how customers make purchasing decisions. Adapting to this rapidly evolving world of sales requires motivation, flexibility, ongoing development and a proactive approach to selling. Sales professionals are expected to be experts in both their product and solution as well as their client's business. They must understand the cultural and generational buying habits of an increasingly diverse customer base while adapting to changing sales technology. Whew, that's a lot to live up to. But you don't have to let these changes get in the way of your sales success. You simply have to roll with the punches, as they say. Before we dive into how you can stay relevant in this constantly changing environment, let's take a look at a few statistics about how sales has changed. 94% of B2B buyers conduct some degree of research online before making a business purchase, with 55% conducting online research for at least half of their purchases. (Accenture’s State of B2B Procurement Study) Buyers are less concerned with the qualifying topics salespeople are usually most interested in: Just one in four want to discuss budget, authority, and timeline. It takes an average of 18 calls to actually connect with a buyer. Only 24% of sales emails are opened. 90% of top performing sales people now use social media as part of their sales strategy. And for sales reps that invest in social media, 64% of them hit their team quota– compared to only 49% of reps hitting their team quota that don’t use social media. Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in 14 common industries, including computer software, healthcare, and marketing and advertising. Nearly six in 10 salespeople say that when they figure out what works for them, they don’t change it. Don’t fall behind —here’s 6 things to know to help you stay relevant and to keep improving your sales performance.
More than 40 percent of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process, followed by closing (36 percent) and qualifying (22 percent) (HubSpot). But if you look closer, you can see that these three steps are all very related. If you're unable to generate good, quality leads then you won't be able to close the deal because the lead wasn't a good fit in the first place.
As the new year gets into full swing, you may already be thinking that your schedule is far too busy to put time aside to read a good book. However, making time to read will make your life better, not more hectic. "No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." ~ Confucius The more you read the more you learn, and in order to stay ahead and thinking clearly in both your personal and professional life, you need to be a ceaseless learner. However, it's startling that about a quarter of American adults (24%) say they haven’t read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form, according to PEW Research. As sales and marketing professionals, there’s constant pressure to be creative. For most of us, the problem isn’t that we aren’t reading. The problem is we spend our time reading blogs, tweets, infographics, and other short forms of content. Sure, that’s great for staying up-to-date with trends and current events, but it doesn’t work our brains the same way. When you read a book, it forces you to focus and eliminate the distractions around you. It's this focus that acts as a catalyst for the many perks that come from reading books, not the least of which is an increase in creativity. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best sales and marketing books to encourage you to step away from the short form, digital content and take hold of the possibilities and perspectives of a new book.