This week’s theme is success, and we have found an eclectic collection of resources that will hopefully get you revved up for the New Year. Whether your goal is evaluating your customer relationship management (CRM) software, minimizing your stress, or helping your sales team meet their goals, these articles offer hands-on solutions to make your sales team more successful in 2015.
3 Ways to Be An Opportunity Maker For Your Team (Criteria For Success)
In this article, writer Elizabeth Frederick highlights a recent TED talk from Forbes columnist Kare Anderson. She discusses how the noted writer’s concepts about being an “opportunity maker” can apply to supporting your own sales team. It’s a quick 5-minute read that focuses on making your team feel more connected and appreciated.
How Successful People Squash Stress (Forbes)
Recent research from Yale University shows that excessive stress actually reduces the amount of brain tissue in your impulse control centers. Writer Travis Bradberry goes on to share a few research-based solutions for removing stress from your life. With tools for learning habits like how to say “no” and squashing self-doubt, this article can help any sales professional remove unnecessary stress from their day.
The Most Toxic Philosophy in Sales: ‘Just Wing It” (The VAR Guy)
Top IT salesperson and bestselling author Kendra Lee writes this scathing indictment of the seat-of-the-pants sales process. Instead, she suggests that lack of planning can create a longer sales process, fewer referrals, and a lower profit margin. While this article is targeted for the IT industry, it’s a great reminder for all sales professionals that a little preparation can go a long way.
Is Your CRM Data the Elephant in the Room? (Business 2 Community)
CRM trendsetter Martin Doyel posits that poor CRM data can be lurking within your system and poised to grow as your business does. This can affect customer relationships in a variety of ways – from incorrect orders to poor customer profiling. This article will make you think twice about how well your CRM is actually managing your data.
Five Tips to Find Your Next Top Sales Rep on LinkedIn (Heinz Marketing)
The idea of this article is that the sales reps you probably want aren’t the ones looking for a job. Instead of waiting for the little fish to flood your HR nets, you need to be harpooning those whales using social media. This article gives five actionable ways to find the right people using LinkedIn functions like advanced search, connection lists, and profile trackbacks.
7 Things to Do Over Xmas to Make Your 2015 Sales GREAT! (Andy Preston)
Cold calling expert Andy Preston shares his holiday secrets for prepping for a booming first quarter. His plan for 2015 incorporates monthly sales goals, projected spending of current customers, and specific activities you need to accomplish in order to meet your overall sales goals. This article is perfect for sales professionals who want to take advantage of a little holiday downtime.
Train, Coach, Reinforce: Best Practices in Maximizing Sales Productivity (Aberdeen)
In Q3 of 2012, Aberdeen surveyed 310 businesses to find how training is being best deployed in best-in-class sales organizations. The research found that 85% of the best businesses have a formal sales process (often supplied externally), and 82% of these organizations have executive support for this process. The full survey is vital reading for any sales manager or executive needing to increase productivity.
Contributing editor, John Brandon, compiles managerial advice from everyone from John Turner of UserThink to Chris Elrod from the Impact! Church. Some of the managerial tips include communicating your vision, learning to adapt to dynamic environments, and “think like Swiss Cheese.” A fast, inspiring read for any sales manager.
Solutions to the 5 Most Common Productivity Roadblocks (Fast Company)
While most articles talk about what’s keeping sales professionals from being productive, this solution-driven option is a fresh alternative. Writer Jane Porter shares solutions for overcoming the five key roadblocks to productivity: multitasking, interruptions, limited time, over-accessibility, and lack of down time. There are great suggestions in this article to help any sales professional manage his or her time better and feel more relaxed throughout the day.
Sales Tips: How to Avoid the Discounting “Squeeze” (Customer Centric Selling)
John Holland shares a quick tip on how to use a “get-give” process to avoid discounting yourself out of a paycheck. Holland goes on to explain that sales professionals should withstand an attempt to gain a lower price three times, and then offer conditional concessions in exchange for base seller price being met. This is a very workable sales tactic that can be effective in virtually any market.
What Do You Think?
When it comes to articles about sales, productivity, and management, there are too many fantastic resources to choose from. What have been your favorite articles this week? Share your picks with us in the comment section below!