Best Sales Blogs in 2015

  A new year means it’s time to ditch what wasn’t working in 2014 and get inspired to have your best sales year yet! But it’s not necessarily easy to change what you’ve always done and make each new year different from the last. The passage of time alone will not help you become a stronger salesperson…but new ideas can. In fact, understanding and implementing industry changes and innovations in sales is the only sure way to prime yourself for success in the new year. That’s why we’re listing the blogs of our favorite sales thought leaders to get you thinking about and discussing sales trends, shifts, and best practices. We hope you’re inspired to implement some new ideas in 2015! Jill Konrath – Fresh Sales Strategies, Konrath regularly shares succinct, helpful ideas for selling in an age where everyone is busier than ever. Lori Richardson – Score More Sales, Richardson offers immediately-actionable tips to help salespeople improve their results. Sign up for her free newsletter for regular updates and advice. Gerhard Gschwandtner – Selling Power, This helpful blog offers a variety of topics from both Gschwandtner and a diverse assortment of guest bloggers. Jeffrey Gitomer – Sales Blog, Gitomer offers tell-it-like-it-is sales advice and helpful resources. Check out his free e-book, Winners and Whiners. Jim Keenan – A Sales Guy, If you aren’t already reading Keenan’s popular blog, you should be. He offers refreshing, straightforward views. Andy Paul – The Sales Fix – […]

Ideas to beat the holiday “slow period” in B2B sales

  The month of December is huge for retail sales, but what about for businesses that only sell to other businesses? During holiday time, the increased stress of wrapping up the year (not to mention wrapping gifts) may mean that business owners will put off buying from you this month. Maybe they’re already over their budget for the quarter, or maybe they’re more concerned with planning that holiday party. Whatever the reason, your sales could take a hit this month. Here’s how to make the best of it: Have a holiday promotion. If retail can fill this month with discounts, so can you. Offer a holiday discount to encourage hesitant prospects to take the plunge. Explain that they won’t get this offer at any other time of year, so it’s important for them to act now. Market heavily to prospects, since some might have a budget surplus. Just reminding them that you’re around can lead to an uptick in sales. Usually a budget surplus is a “use it or lose it” scenario. Show prospects how your product or service is a great way to spend those extra dollars. Send cards and gifts to top prospects. So what if they haven’t bought from you yet? Add a few prospects to your list of gift recipients this year. Don’t forget to include a personal note. It’s hard to ignore a big basket of fruit or candy, so at least you’re likely to be remembered. Remind prospects to include you in their plan […]

Fresh ways to stay persistent in sales

by Shannon F. You’re probably sick of hearing about the importance of resilience, persistence, and staying motivated. The best salespeople are incredibly tenacious and are able to deflect the day-to-day negative feedback that pretty much everyone in this field faces. They may think they don’t need to fine-tune their attitudes to rejection or receive regular pep talks. The truth is, most salespeople need encouragement on a regular basis, even if it comes from within. Here are our suggestions for remaining persistent no matter what. Remind yourself that 80% of sales are made on the 5th through 12th attempt. It’s true. If you are getting a little frustrated with a prospect who isn’t returning your calls, remind yourself that it could take as many as 12 calls to set the appointment that gets you the deal. Be patient, and remember that 90% of sales reps make only three attempts or fewer. (You could even print the inspiring chart, above.) Complain for a little…and then stop.  Positive thinking is important, but sometimes the one thing that inspires you to keep going is having the opportunity to vent (briefly). If a prospect is ignoring your calls or has treated you horrendously, it’s okay to seek the empathy of others on your team. Feeling heard, and getting your anger out of your system, can energize you and give you the strength you need to move forward. But don’t complain about every little thing or dwell too much on a bad experience. Complaining only has […]

2014 Sales Star Contest

  We invite all InsightPRM and Wendover Corporation customers to enter our 2014 Sales Star Contest! Over $1000 in prizes will be given away to sales reps who have achieved outstanding results this year using our sales lead program and/or InsightPRM lead management software. The grand prize for Biggest Deal Closed in 2014 is $500, but we’re giving away tons of great prizes ranging in value from $25 to $250! For more information, please visit the contest page.    

Question of the Month: What should you do when the prospect says, “I’m not moving?”

  Many of our clients are commercial movers or sell products and services entirely dependent on a trigger event: corporate relocations. Nothing throws off a sales rep like a confirmed moving lead saying, “I’m not moving.” In fact, that objection can be enough to relegate the lead to what we call the “dead lead dumpster.” But just because someone says, “I’m not moving,” should you give up on the lead? In many cases, a prospect who offers an unexpected objection feels cornered. You have knowledge of a piece of information that was not disclosed to you, and that’s enough to put a business owner or manager’s guard up. Who are you, and how did you find out about their trigger event? In the prospect’s eyes, it’s none of your business that they are planning a move, even if your services can ultimately make their lives a lot easier. Should you discard the lead? If a prospect tells you their trigger event is not happening, don’t discard the lead too hastily. After all, you may have caught the prospect on a bad day, and “We’re not moving!” is a fake-out to get you off the phone. Let a little time pass, and make at least a few more attempts before determining that the lead is no good. Remember, someone at some point told your lead source they were moving. Try back at a better time As time draws closer to the trigger event, your prospect may start to become more interested […]

Daily Steal: Does Daily Deal Marketing Help Or Hurt?

by Shannon F. Pretty much everyone is familiar with sites like Groupon or Living Social. With product offerings ranging from half-price restaurant meals to impossibly cheap vacations, these daily deal sites are a great place for consumers to try something new with decreased financial risk. But if you’re in the dining, entertainment, or hospitality business, you probably have a love-hate relationship with daily deals. We’ll break it down for you and help you figure out whether this marketing strategy should be part of your business plan. How daily deals work A business participating in a daily deal offers their product or service at a discount, usually around 50% off. For example, a consumer might purchase $100 worth of food at a restaurant for $50. The daily deal site typically takes half the profit, which means the restaurant only gets $25 out of the deal. However, each daily deal has a required minimum number of buyers (putting the “group” in Groupon), in order to guarantee a certain amount of revenue to the business running the deal. If the restaurant in the above example requires 100 purchases in order for the deal to go through, they are guaranteed $2500. Otherwise, the deal is off. Do restaurants lose money on daily deals? In some cases, yes. Operating expenses are often high for restaurants, and profit margins tend to be narrow. In a recent study, over 26% of businesses lost money from running a daily deal, and about 18% reported just breaking even. There’s […]

Beyond the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Business Charity Ideas

  by Shannon F. Whether you gleefully participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or you thought it was a waste of clean water, this recent viral fundraiser prompted many individuals and organizations to reexamine what it means to make a difference. Spreading awareness and raising money can be fun and a little silly. It can seem frivolous but still have amazing results. And the best part is, anyone can get involved, even those who think they don’t have much to give. When Wendover/InsightPRM gathered on the lawn to watch VP of Sales Frank Craig and Territory Manager Joseph Catoe get soaked for a good cause, it certainly didn’t feel like an ordinary day at the office. Everyone returned to their desks with a renewed sense of purpose, because we had taken a stand as a team. It didn’t matter that our effort was a drop in the bucket. In the spirit of the Ice Bucket Challenge, here are some ideas to get your team working together for a good cause. Hold a sales competition for charity: whichever sales rep reaches goal first or has the best numbers on the board at the end of the week receives a donation to his or her favorite charity. Or, have the team pick a charity and work together to reach goal. Walk or run for charity: Sure, it’s an old standby, but until you’ve done it, you won’t know the feeling of getting your adrenaline pumping for a cause. Unique events like […]

5 Little LinkedIn Tips That Make a Huge Impact

by Shannon F You’ve probably read enough about the potential benefits of LinkedIn for making valuable connections and identifying sales opportunities. But are you optimizing your profile for success? Many salespeople understand the basics of LinkedIn, but they overlook little details that can make them stand out to a prospect or decision-maker. We’ve come up with 5 important tips for transforming your LinkedIn profile and user experience. They may seem like small potatoes, but if you change every one of them, we promise you will have potatoes au gratin, or something equally tasty. Most importantly, you’ll be all set to drive sales with the best free professional tool on the web. Put it in your customers’ own words. I have a LinkedIn connection who calls herself an Education Management Specialist. Chances are that I (as a stranger to the field of education management) am going to skip over her profile if I’m looking for a 9th grade English teacher, which is exactly what she is. Industry jargon is fine if you’re seeking a job in a specialized field or if you are settled into a non-sales job, like teaching. But if you are using your LinkedIn profile to find prospects and gain new business, it’s important to identify yourself using words that have meaning to your potential customers. For example, instead of calling yourself a Business Communications Consultative Specialist, say “I help businesses on a budget upgrade their telecommunications tools,” or something of that nature. You’ll sound less intimidating and […]

Retain Sales Reps From Generation Y

by Shannon F. It has always been tough to find and retain great salespeople, but Gen Y is notoriously hard to hold onto. That’s a loss for you, because this generation has a lot of passion and innovation to bring to your sales department. If you are considering hiring from the latest batch of college graduates entering the job market, you could find the most loyal employee of your career OR one of the most challenging. Either way, handling young talent means knowing how to turn potentially problematic traits into wins for both you and your new hire. Trait #1 – Gen Y is impatient. Raised with instant knowledge and entertainment at their fingertips, Gen Y likes to jump right in, see results at lightning speed, and progress quickly in their careers – perhaps before you think they’re ready. Your new Gen Y salesperson may be unwilling to sit through hours of training, because she grew up learning by doing. Nobody taught her how to create complex Sims cities or start her own vlog – she just jumped in and did it. It’s no surprise she wants her career to work the same way. Make it a win for you – Your Gen Y salesperson wants to prove himself, so let him. Instead of sticking him in days of seminars before he hits the selling floor, try a few call simulations where he has to think on his feet with very little time to process information. This will force your […]

Question of the Month: How Do I Avoid Being a Sales Pushover?

by Shannon F. Does it seem like your customers always have an upper hand during negotiations? Maybe you give massive discounts in order to close the deal, or you end up throwing in a lot of free concessions to keep the customer happy. If that sounds like you, your bottom line will suffer if you don’t take control of your sales conversations early on. Here’s how to stay assertive: Prepare for every sales conversation. Be well-versed in the value you can bring to the prospect. Researching their organization, doing your homework on competitors your prospect is considering, and having prepared responses for common objections is a good strategy for approaching a sales meeting with self-assurance. When you aren’t prepared, you may be apt to stumble, lose confidence, and make unplanned and ill-afforded concessions. Know what obstacles you are likely to encounter. Be upfront with the prospect about the challenges you anticipate. For example, if you are taking on a project that comes with more complications or expenses than usual, be the first to bring these issues to light. Explain, “My competitors might not be aware of these extra costs, and that’s why their estimates are lower. But you can be sure they will bill you at a later date for the extra labor and equipment.” Don’t answer too quickly. Your prospect asked for a discount or a freebie. Rather than reply hastily, tell your prospect you need to discuss the request with your manager and get back to them. This […]