IT Sales: Stop Selling Commodities and Start Selling Knowledge
The first piece of advice in marketing to strangers is to stop selling products as your lead entrée, as you get your foot in the door with IT sales.
Customer Service is a Class Act
Here's a question for you: What's the difference between great service and great services? Let me tell you a quick story to help answer that question.
No, Really. Put The Customer In Charge
Guy Kawasaki* cranks out a top-10 list on "The Art Of Customer Service." My favorite of the lot:
Lead Generation with Podcasts
When I look at podcasts in the context of the complex sale, and compare them to other mediums, the audience for podcasts is still tiny but gaining momentum.
Google Mashes Up Real Estate
Hunting down "homes for sale" through a typical
Google search returns extra search boxes...
Sales Techniques: Create Sense of Urgency
Sales representatives are always told, and often in not so subtle terms, to create a sense of urgency in their prospects.
Landing Pages, Sales & A Life-sized Green Moose
In sales, everyone knows it's a lot easier to call a potential client from a pre-qualified lead, rather than making a cold call.
Customer Referrals and Your Sales Department
For the complex sale you need enthusiastic referrals to help you build your reputation, differentiate yourself, demonstrate your value proposition, shorten your sales cycle, and drive revenue.
Bringing Clients in the Door: How Professionals Can Encourage Business
You're a professional - either a doctor, or a dentist, or an artist. Maybe you're an independent sales person who works on commission, or a speaker who must sell yourself.
Taxonomy of Lead Generation
Generating leads for a given product or service is a market in and of itself.
Social Media Drives Greater Employee Engagement
Here's a terrific case study from Swedish/US communication consultants and training firm Gronstedt Group on the role social media plays in helping the sales team at US educational publisher Prentice-Hall improve their sales performance.
The case study describes how the firm applies a new approach to e-learning:
[…] Sales training is no longer about watching, reading and listening, but about doing, simulating, socializing, sharing and collaborating. The maturation of a new wave of online applications and tools, such as blogs, podcasts, online gaming, and wireless and mobile technologies, is driving ever-greater levels of sales and service productivity.
Gronstedt's report illustrates how scenario-based online simulations, podcasts and blogs are catalysts for connecting a disparate sales team to stimulate greater engagement between the team members that's geared to helping lift their performance levels:
[…] The blog serves as a forum for free-flowing conversations. It's an engine for sharing experiences from the front lines across the sales organization without inundating reps with e-mail. They can read the musings, rants, raves, insights and opinions of their peers and weigh in on conversations about pressing issues that will help them better do their jobs. Reps can also find the latest podcasts and download them from PlayDough [the new sales community blog].
The integration of the podcasts with the blog is a critical step in building and engaging an online community and helping transform the podcast into a two-way, listener-driven medium. Thanks to the blog, shows can be based on themes raised by sales reps, and they can answer specific questions and concerns in ways that are more meaningful and easier to manage than another e-mail salvo.
With variability between high- and low-performing sales and service reps still greater than 50% in most organizations, Gronstedt says, field communication and training is green pasture for improvements.
Prentice-Hall certainly sees the value from this new approach:
[…] "The feedback from the field has been phenomenal," says [Eric Frank, Director of Marketing for the Business Publishing Division]. "This campaign has kicked off a new wave of communication across the organization, where newsletters and e-mail blasts are being replaced by this new approach to strategic and tactical communications."
(Via Fredrik Wacka)
Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.