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How to Crush It, Kill It and Master Cold Calling Now

Over the past year, I have written  blog  post after blog post at my site, http://www.thesalesblog.com.  Most of what I have written was written to be published later as book.  That book is coming in the not too distant future.      Of  all  the  topics I have written on, what I have written about cold calling has always struck  a  nerve, eliciting strong opinions—either for or against. Much of the email I receive is for advice and  ideas  about  how to be more effective at cold calling, or it is to remind me that Sales 2.0 has replaced cold calling (an idea to which I am vehemently opposed with every fiber of my being).      I collected a few posts on cold calling here to serve as a guide for those who would endeavor to improve their cold calling skills.  I hope you find it useful in improving your effectiveness and that you adopt these ideas into all of your prospecting activities.  

Earning the Status of Trusted Advisor - 3 Key Principles You Need To Know

While it is all well and good – even honorable, really, to associate selling success with being a trusted advisor, what does it take to earn that status with customers in today’s buying environment? Research by CSO Insights, the Aberdeen Group, and others has shown that just telling salespeople to be trusted advisors has not worked: win rates have fallen and no-decision rates have grown. Customer behaviors seem to be saying that they don’t trust salespeople’s intent, and don’t see them as a credible advisor. To address this concern, let’s explore three key principles that point the way to becoming a trusted advisor.

Prepare Your Sales Force

Not long ago it was reported that more than 12% of all U.S. jobs are full-time sales positions. That’s a lot of sales reps in need of a whole lot of training.   This demand puts a tremendous amount of pressure on B2B companies to effectively develop and enable their salespeople from the moment they first step through the door. It’s certainly not easy, as developing a high-powered, internal sales onboarding and training program requires investment, planning and, most importantly, time.   Time spent away from the phones.   Time spent out of the field.   Time spent learning instead of selling.

Commitment Is Key To Motivation - The Surprising Power of Self-Selected Goals

In an effort to test the impact of different incentives, a global telecommunications firm worked with BIWORLDWIDE to study the performance of its call center employees. Our findings confirmed previous research: non-monetary rewards drive greater performance than cash and cash equivalents.  We also found that individual goal setting delivers stronger results than tiered goals. In other words, setting your own goal improves performance significantly more than receiving pre-assigned goals.

The State Of Sales Execution 2015 Trends Report

Over the past several years, Qvidian has surveyed hundreds of executives and sales leaders around the world from various industries, markets, and company sizes to create a comprehensive ongoing study of the changing objectives and challenges facing sales leaders.   This Sales Execution Trends Report investigates new obstacles sales organizations face to meet these objectives, as well as explores current conditions and investment areas needed to improve sales execution; providing further market insight into the state of sales today. 

Telemarketing Execution: In-House or Outsourcing?

Today\'s B2B marketing organizations claim that the fundamental task of generating leads is their most significant challenge. Activities like social media marketing can be powerful, but they can also distract marketing from its core business objective, which is to generate qualified, actionable leads for sales. Outbound lead generation via telemarketing promises to resolve this challenge. Telemarketing generates high-quality leads that empower sales to drive business growth. However, many marketers\' budgets are being examined with a critical eye. The phrase "do more with less" has become a dominant theme in many marketing departments. Marketing is being tasked to generate higher quality leads and do so with ever-decreasing budgets. Once marketing recognizes that telemarketing can be part of a cost-effective lead generation program, the next step is determining how to go about it. The primary consideration is whether it should be done in-house or outsourced.

The Importance of Sales Incentive Programs

Sales are the lifeblood of every business. A company that is more effective at selling its products will out perform its competitors, even if they offer higher quality or better value. It is, therefore, essential for businesses toemploy a highly dedicated and motivated sales staff. While many companies reward salespeople on a commission basis, research demonstrates that non-cash incentives such as gift cards are more effective at improving motivation, boosting performance, and increasing a company’s bottom line. 

IBM's Adoption of Sugar: A Lesson in Global Implementation

At CeBIT 2014, Gary D. Burnette, VP of sales transformation at IBM, gave some insight into why and how IBM had deployed Sugar from SugarCRM to support a global sales force of more than 45,000 sellers within 12 months of a successful pilot. IBM\'s successful approach provides a valuable lesson for organizations embarking on major multi-country or global customer relationship management (CRM) deployments.

Automating Lead-To-Win: Shrinking the Sales Cycle and Focusing Closers on Sealing More Deals

As sales organizations endeavor to escape the constricted economy of the 2009 recession, one of their most significant barriers is stagnant progess regarding bringing their sales cycle under control. Aberdeen research conducted in March, 2010 for the benchmark study of 441 corporate sales teams,Automating Lead-To-Win: Shrinking the Sales Cycle and Focusing Closers on Sealing More Deals, included 37 companies currently deploying CPQ technology, and analysis shows that these organizations are realizing concrete performance advantages over other survey respondents.

Why Cash is a Less Effective Incentive

Common wisdom to increase production would dictate a change in the monetary compensation plan. Pay more cash and get more results. Everyone likes money - it is a simple and rational choice. And if money is so desirable, why not use it as a reward to induce more desired behavior? Many corporations do just that. It is undeniable that money works to drive behavior, and money used as an incentive yields positive results - up to a point. The fact, however, is that money is not the optimal reward to get extra effort from people.

The Essential Guide to B2B Appointment Setting

Without a doubt, technology has become a great tool for improving the effectiveness of B2B marketing. Social media, marketing automation, mobile marketing, and search engine arketing all aid in efficiently generating a high volume of leads. Whether marketing teams support sales efforts by generating and nurturing high quality leads or following up on events, technology can make their work more efficient and productive. However, smart businesses know that purchasing decisions are made by human beings who respond to personal interactions with other human beings. Though many simple business transactions can exist entirely online, effective marketing practices must include a human touch.

5 Data Visualization Pitfalls (and How to Avoid Them)

Charts and graphs are an incredibly powerful way to present your data, but even minor mistakes can bury your insights in clutter and confusion. This e-book will help you tell a clear and compelling story every time with critical tips on color choices, choosing formats for different data types, avoiding “chart junk,” and more.

Big Data for Big Industries

Regardless of industry, organizations are starting to recognize the value of big data and how they can use it to gain new insights about their business. CITO Research has surveyed Qlik customers in healthcare, banking, securities & investments, insurance, telecommunications, and retail. Download this white paper to learn more about how they are harnessing the power of big data to generate business benefits and competitive differentiators. 

The Modern Data Analyst: Generating Insight at the LOB

In the era of data discovery, analytical power has migrated from the IT department to business users. Surveying over 700 analytics users, Aberdeen set out to understand modern analysts to identify what makes them successful. Among many interesting findings, Aberdeen discovered that modern analysts are 55% more likely to have access to interactive data visualization tools, and 46% more likely to have a data governance solution. Download this report to learn more.

Revolutionize Selling From Enablement To Execution

Sales enablement, while useful, is ad hoc in practice, thereby neglecting to provide structure to any sales process. Without proper guidance to put your initiatives into practice, your efforts will inevitably fall short and will inadvertently lead to the opposite of structure: chaos. Similarly, many sales processes today are stuck in the why - or in the chaos of poorly defined processes, ad hoc efforts, and unrecognized returns. In other words, sales leaders continue to work overtime on enabling their salesforce with repetitive maintenance strategies, while not spending nearly enough time on executing effectively to grow and scale their sales initiatives.

The Definitive Guide to Sales Content Performance

Analytics are at the heart of a modern data-driven business.   When it came to content, we used to rely almost entirely on anecdotes and guesswork. That is no longer good enough - content is at the heart of the sales and marketing process and we must know how it is being used and how it is performing.   Marketing Automation tools made that a reality for marketing content. They let marketers analyze and optimize content marketing efforts during the first half of the sales cycle, providing analytics to show how effectively content moves customers through the funnel. But until recently, as soon as a deal was handed off to the sales team, it entered a content black hole.    There has been no way to answer very basic questions about sales content. Do reps have what they need? Do they use it? Do customers pay any attention to it? Does any of this actually generate real revenue? Even in our increasingly data-driven world, sales content has remained back in the days of guess and hope. But an emerging set of Sales Enablement platforms has changed that. They manage sales content throughout your sales engagements and use analytics to give you full visibility into how that content performs.   This guide walks through eight reports that answer the key business questions about sales content and shows how to use them to optimize the way your company engages with customers.

The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People

Many companies approach orientation like it\'s a formality. It has to be done, but no one wants to waste too much time on it. So, new employees are ushered in, given a quick tour of the office and a rundown of the benefits offered, and then they\'re expected to get right to work. It seems leaders assume that more detailed information on things like the company\'s processes and customers will simply be absorbed by new hires as they go along.

The Language Gap: Using Effective Business Communication Skills

“If you\'re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”  - David Ogilvy David Ogilvy, the famous marketing and sales executive, said it this way, “If you\'re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.” Nelson Mandela said it like this: “If you talk to [people] in a language [they] understand, that goes to [their] heads. If you talk to [them] in [their] language, that goes to [their] heart.” The ability to communicate—whether to persuade or just to understand—goes beyond using words well; it requires the ability to use words in a way that has meaning for those with whom you are speaking. The ability to talk with someone in his or her native language isn’t just about them understanding you; it’s about you understanding them—their experiences, their thinking, their beliefs, and their values. While definitions lie in words, meaning lies in the people who use them.
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