Why Business Acumen is Key to Sales Success (And How to Get It)

What sets sales leaders apart from everyday reps? Why are some salespeople more effective at closing deals? And how do some reps skyrocket their career growth? The answer is simple: Business acumen.

It's a term often thrown around boardrooms and blog posts, but today, I'm breaking down exactly what it is, why it's important, and how you can develop it…CONTINUE READING HERE!!!

Tune up your SaaS sales pitch with a focus on clarity

For salespeople, your sales pitch is crucial – above all else, it must be crystal clear what you’re trying to sell and what the value is to your prospective customer.

This clarity from the start is critical, because that early impression shapes everything that follows – according to Forrester, the first viable vendor to reach a decision maker and set the buying vision has a 74% average close ratio. And the value of that sale compounds over time. In another survey by Gartner, nearly two-thirds of tech buyers said they would purchase more from existing providers if the value from their initial investment was clearly demonstrated…CONTINUE READING HERE!!!

A Great Boss is hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.

I lost one of my managers a couple of years ago and I can’t seem to forget him or the legacy he left behind. He was one of my earliest examples of true leadership. I often refer to him as "The Memorable Leader."

I had a family emergency and before I could finish explaining to him the situation. He said, "And you are still standing here talking to me? Why aren't you out the door yet? I'll cover for you." I smiled then went to my desk, took my belongings and left. Thereafter, he had my full commitment…CONTINUE READING HERE!!!

Leading Like a Woman

I recently returned from a two-day retreat with 15 other women CEOs. It was powerful being together with these kick-ass women who lead every day in their businesses and their industries. We learned a lot together, laughed a lot, and honed our leadership skills in order to bring greater value to our respective companies.

While I was at the retreat, I found myself in a very introspective mental space. You see, I realized that female leaders are both empowering and inclusive. And – in my experience – more so than their male counterparts. I also realized that there are too few women in leadership positions…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

How to Become a VP of Sales by the Time You’re 30

Have you ever wondered how to become a VP of Sales? I can tell you exactly how to do it, because I’ve lived this journey myself. By the time I was 30 years old, I was working at Oracle (via startup acquisition) helping them build the #1 performing SaaS sales team in my region. At the time, I had two years as a VP of Sales under my belt. And while there is no one perfect trajectory that a sales career follows, there are some key questions you should ask yourself before you start the journey.

How can you become a VP of Sales? Are you prepared to be in charge of the company’s most critical assets? Are you ready to hire and retain a sales team of the best and brightest? Can you spot sales performance issues before they blow up? Are you ready to create predictable revenue based solely on your leadership skills?…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

How to Walk Away from a Bad Deal

Another quarter sales target just barely made. It was a close call. As you go over the numbers with your team you realize that trying to close a sale with XYZ Industries cost you a ton of time, almost made you missed your quota and almost cost you your job (maybe – you never know, but you suspect it).

It’s not that you haven’t been down this path before. As Yogi Berra would say “It’s Like Deja Vu All Over Again.” It’s not the first time there was a close call because somebody wasted your time. And there were other bad deals in the past.

What if there was a way to know bad deals before they happen? What if you didn’t feel like you don’t know when to walk away from a bad deal? What if you could keep your emotions in check and avoid getting too deep into a process and wasting your time or striking a bad deal?  What would that mean to your bottom line?…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

Discovery Calls with Educated Prospects

During discovery we mostly think of the things we need from the prospect - budget, authority, next steps, timelines... the list goes on. But what about the value the prospect expects to get from the call? In our last article in the Discovery Call blog series, we called it an ideal discovery experience.

This experience is even more critical for the “educated” prospect…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

7 Holiday Email Templates for Salespeople

‘Tis the season for sugar plums and stalled deals. You release emails into a void darker than Black Friday, and the only thing you’re collecting is OOO auto-replies. And while regular people enjoy slices of pie and seemingly endless vacation, you’re enjoying a second helping of “Bah Humbug” and sweating your looming number. Sound familiar?

To help, I’ve pulled together seven email templates with eye-catching subject lines and get-to-the-point messages for more opens and higher response rates -- even as your prospects have one hand in the cool whip and the other on their expanding waistline…CONTINUE TO TEMPLATES HERE!!

How to Use Netflix Secrets to Create Binge-worthy Effective Sales Pitches

They say the average human attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s. Yet, a new study just came out saying that the average person watches 18 days worth of Netflix a year.

The math doesn’t exactly add up. But what’s the difference? How do you get your viewers to figuratively “hit full screen” and give you their complete attention, instead of Amazon Prime shopping in the background?

Netflix inspires binge-watchers via visuals, a great story, and compelling dialogue. How can you apply this to your own sales pitches? There are more similarities than you think. The best salespeople are spellbinding storytellers, who have their audience on the edge of their seat— not glued to their smartphone. How do they do it?…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

How Smart Is Your Sales Playbook?

I read a quote the other day that immediately resonated with me:

“Memorizing a playbook is like memorizing a script. When they change the script at the last minute, it’s like changing a play in the game.”

Never has this been more true than in the art of selling. No two deals are the same, though they likely share common DNA. In fact, with so many variables involved in a deal—from unique buyer objectives, to your timing in a deal relative to your competitors—building playbooks for your sales teams is more like writing a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel.

In sports, a playbook charts out potential in-game scenarios, containing your team’s strategies and guiding your path from where you are in the “game” to where you want to to end up. In sales, it’s not much different…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

A “Triple Fit” Approach to Sales Talent

“Sales organizations are struggling with who to hire, how to find them and how to develop and support them.”

This quote appeared in the CSO Insights 2018 Sales Talent Study released this fall. In fact, the study reports that only 16% of sales leaders say they are confident that they have the talent they need to succeed in the future.

So, what should you do if you are a sales leader in the other 84%?  First and foremost, recognize that assembling the right sales team can be a complicated equation. Our guess is that you have multiple roles within your sales organization. Each of these roles may require different profiles, competencies, and skill sets to truly drive success for individuals and teams…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

Oprah Winfrey Says 1 Decision Separates People Who Achieve Success From Those Who Only Dream

Success often springs from new: new opportunities, new ideas, new perspectives, new connections, new ventures ...

Achieving what you want to achieve often requires embarking on a new journey, bridging the gap from here, where you are today, to there, where you want to someday be. 

But sometimes success can come not from adding something new but from eliminating something old…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

Great Salespeople Never Pitch for More Than 9 Minutes — Here’s Why

Everything that follows is true.

As far as I know.

There was once a regional sales manager—a rising star in her company.

Everyone knew she was destined to be crowned VP Sales.

One of her quirks was that she documented everything.

She wanted to nail down a deal-closing formula that everybody could follow.

One day, she started her most eyebrow-raising study yet.

Using a hand-held stopwatch, she timed how long her seven reps spent on PowerPoint decks during their sales calls.

She logged it all in a spreadsheet, along with each deal’s outcome.

At the end of the experiment, the data revealed something so clear, she almost didn’t believe it…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

Though Most Emails Say Otherwise, Not All Salespeople Are Slimy

I was so horrible. Needing money while at university I took on another part-time job. Phone sales. After 30 days no one purchased. Not one single sale. No money made.

Obviously, it didn't work out. So I got a new job, doing the exact same thing! Smart, I know.

A dreamer needs to dream…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

How to Have Your Fellow Woman’s Back in the Cutthroat Sales World

There’s an unwritten rule that women need to support other women at work. Countless articles are detailing how we are supposed to be each other’s champion, encourager, and referrer. Some have even gone so far as to say that achieving equal rights starts with treating one another as equals. The ideas of how to receive equal pay, equal treatment, and equal status to our male counterparts have been on the minds of millions of women for decades and remain hot topics even today.

There is no doubt that when women support each other, magnificent things happen.  Women who uplift, support, and celebrate other women instead of trying to bring them down create a healthier workplace for men and women alike…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

How to Write a Follow-Up Email That Actually Works

In sales, it’s almost never an immediate “yes.” In fact, “92% of salespeople give up after four ‘no’s’, but 80% of prospects say ‘no’ four times before they say ‘yes’.” That’s why failing to follow up on the sales emails you send can have a disastrous impact on your sales performance.

Unfortunately, effective follow-up these days isn’t as simple as shooting off a “Just checking in” message (although this phrase has been recently proven to be more effective than we originally thought). Follow-up emails deserve as much attention as your initial outreach, so up your game by avoiding the following mistakes and testing the templates described below…CONTINUE READING HERE!!

11 Must-Watch TED Talks That Will Make You Insanely Productive

Spend a little time watching these talks now and you'll save a lot of time in the long run.

You know the old saying, "It takes money to make money." Well, the same can be said of time.

Sure, you'll spend somewhere between five and 20 minutes not working while you watch the TED talks below, but each one contains some insight about how to do more, work harder, or be more efficient that will pay you back many times over the minutes you invested watching it.

Sometimes, in other words, you have to stop being productive for a moment to become much more productive in the long run. These talks are all one such time…WATCH TALKS HERE!

How Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Source New Ideas From Their Team

It takes an emotionally intelligent leader to forge a work environment where diversity of thought is promoted. These kinds of leaders implicitly understand that their title does not mean that they have all of the answers, all of the time. Rather, they recognize that having a team around them that feels comfortable challenging them will enable better thinking and vastly improve business outcomes…CONTINUE READING HERE!

The Dichotomy of Time-Management and Goal-Execution

By the end of reading this article, you will be equipped with 3 different "time management" techniques that you will be able to incorporate into your life immediately to help you get what you want.

This is not another article on "The top 10 strategies for time management" nor is this an article on "how to stay focused", rather this article will take on 3 different time management methodologies and depict how these three methodologies, although typically used separately, can be welded together to form one of the most powerful philosophies on the topic of "time management" that will be immediately applicable to your life…CONTINUE READING HERE!