This week we’ve curated an eclectic blend of straight sales advice, innovative productivity research, and savvy managerial tips. From customer service strategies of the most profitable companies in the world to new thoughts about humanizing your sales tactics, these picks can help your team be leaner, more successful, and better at managing customer relationships.
- Lessons from Westpac and Tory Burch on Using Info-Sense to Drive Sales Through Customer Service (Forbes)
According to an IBM study, 76% of customers expect a company to understand their individual needs. Writer Stan Phelps uses examples from retailer Tory Burch and Westpac to show how sales managers and CEOs can utilize Info-Sense (the process of gathering and using information to tailor sales messages) to increase sales.
- The Real Essence of Customer Relationship Management (Capgemini Consulting)
This short article by Lyeanne Jones highlights the importance of sales teams in maintaining interpersonal customer relationship management skills, not just a CRM software platform. She highlights three important points in the customer relationship management process: Initiation, Sales Contact, and Conflict Management.
- Study: Women With More Children Are More Productive At Work (Washington Post)
If you’re a sales manager wondering who should be the next member of your team, this article sheds light on the benefits of hiring employees with children. In fact, this study from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis showed that employees with children (especially women) significantly outperformed colleagues with regards to productivity.
- How to Be an Advocate, Not Just a Salesperson (The Entourage)
Although author Andrew Morello is successful in his own right, winning the first season of The Apprentice Australia and acting a key team member of Yellow Brick Road, in this article he highlights Ruslan Kogan as a mentor for sales success. Kogan gives five actionable tips for becoming a client advocate in order to see instantly stronger sales.
- When Micromanaging is a Good Thing (Fast Company)
In this article, ProPhase Labs CEO Ted Karkus talks about how his version of micromanaging allows him to get more personal with his employees and customers. Three main areas where micromanaging is especially important is during the hiring, product development, and customer experience parts of the sales process.
- 50 Best Sales Management Tools/Software (Docurated)
This fantastic resource from Docurated highlights their favorite customer relationship management (CRM) tools for sales. Each entry is well-researched, and includes unique features of the product, cost, and links to the purchase page. This is an excellent article for sales managers considering whether a CRM is the next choice for their team.
- 3 Easy Ways to Improve Sales (Sales & Marketing Management)
Author and SNI president Todd Lenhart suggests that sales professionals focus on preparation, listening skills, and goal-making to increase their average sales. He also advises to use positive mental mapping of a sales call in order to work through “kinks” before presenting a sales pitch. This is a thorough, quick refresher on basic sales skills that are consistently profitable.
For sales professionals or managers that use online lead-generating, this is a must-read article about using implicit data to target marketing messages. Writer Ellen Valentine suggests that explicit information-gathering (such as having prospects complete a needs survey) are outdated, and gives good advice on setting up an implicit, behavior-driven marketing strategy.
- How to Become Your Prospect’s Vendor of Choice (Eyes On Sales)
This article answers the question, “If consumers have many choices, how can my company be the vendor of choice when they’re ready to buy?” Author Michael Pedone suggests that sales professionals must know their buyer, increase their brand’s worth consistently and regularly in the eyes of the customer, and maximize the first 30 seconds of a sales call. For sales professionals and managers, this is a great article for cultivating more lucrative long-term client relationships.
What Do You Think?
Which were you favorite sales and productivity articles for the week? Share your finds with us in the comments below.