Tag Archives: sales

Three types of people in B2B sales, who are you?

According to marketing guru Seth Godin, There are only three kinds of people in business to business sales:

The “Stallers”
– These people make up the majority of the population and are “empowered to stall.” They’ll ask for so much more information that you’ll feel like you’ve been sent “after the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west.”

The “No” People
– Those that have the ability to stall, but also possess the authority to hand you a big, fat “no.”

The “Yes” People
– This group is the smallest of the bunch, but full of those with the power to say “yes” to your offer. They may participate in stall tactics, but just for the fun of it.

If you’ve ever been part of a business to business sales team, most of your experience comes from dealing with “stallers” and “no” people. It’s a great day when you get to deliver your pitch to one of the “yes” people, but it may only happen rarely.

“You have no chance (zero) of moving someone from one category to another. The reason this system evolved is straightforward: the yes people are rare in a typical organization, because they have responsibility and power. So they are busy and need to be protected. The no people are easy to train at saying no, and they’re waiting to be promoted to yes people. And the stallers? They represent the dip, the barrier salespeople have to get through to show that they are serious.”

Instead of trying in vain to move someone from one category to another, Seth says to get up and start playing offense if you want the best deal.

“The opportunity for marketers in search of media is not to play defense, to stall people with clever ideas or small platforms, but instead to stop stalling and start looking. The bargains are there, just waiting.”

It’s a great post that hope everyone had a chance to read, visit Seth’s blog for even more great advice.

So, who are you? “Staller,” a “no” person or a “yes” person? Leave a comment and let us know why.

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Low-cost, peer-to-peer sales training ideas

How often does your sales team go through training? Once a quarter, every other month?

I recently came across a practical idea over at the B2B Lead Blog to train your sales team more frequently, without involving any additional costs or resources.

In the post, Lauren Kincke, Marketing and Sales Operations Manager at ReachForce, shared how frequent, peer-to-peer training has helped their sales team to reach and exceed their goals.

Here’s part of their story:

Our typical training regime used to be comprised solely of a full-day quarterly kickoff.  During that time we would run through a few “sales” skills specific sessions, some background on our industry, and a piece on what we do and how we do it (for newbies).   Part team-building, part skills training, it was an exhausting day and by the end of it some of our more ADD inclined employees had mentally checked out.  Recently we decided to make some changes.

First, instead of only hosting training sessions on a once a quarter basis, each of our weekly sales meetings would be host to a mini-session led by a sales rep.  Second, our quarterly sales training meeting would be shortened to a little over half a day.

During their weekly sales meetings, employees were assigned and presented topics ranging from overcoming customer objections, to managing your time effectively to advice on how to prepare for a first call.

There’s no set format for how employees can present the material. Some have found success using PowerPoint presentations and others have simply discussed the topics in front of the class.

“I can’t say that we’ve measured our results, but I can say that our reps have been able to put these things into practice as quickly as they are being taught.  One of the greatest things about this training is that it is led in a peer to peer setting.”

It’s an interesting training idea that gets everyone involved in the process. Apart from learning how to be more efficient at work, the peer-to-peer sales training strengthens the bonds between coworkers and improves engagement across the board.

Moreover, the training method helps businesses save money by eliminating the need to bring in outside training providers and lessening the time employees spend away from their work. When combined with a formal sales training program, the peer-to-peer method has the potential to bring success to almost any business.

Do you think a training method like this could work in you organization? What benefits does peer-to-peer sales training offer that traditional training can’t deliver?

Tying sales and marketing together with technology

If you’re a marketer in search of a better way to tie your sales and marketing efforts together and have five minutes to spare, watch this video.

The video is from BNET’s Selling Power Daily Report, a series of online videos tailored for the busiest of business professionals.

In this video, Joan Kratz, senior vice president of marketing at Premiere Global, explains how technology has proven to be more effective than direct mail when it comes to prospecting and lead generation.

Only five minutes long and worth the watch. I would have embedded it directly into this blog, but WordPress isn’t accepting it. So, head on over to BNET and watch Technology Enabled Marketing.

Watch your words: Keep jargon out of marketing

In a recent post at All Things Workplace, Steve Roesler shared a personal experience where jargon-filled communication ruined a business deal.

Roesler was screening two software vendors with demos build with only screen shots and the voices of those involved. He immediately cut one vendor out of the transaction, not because of the software functionality, because of how the vendor presented the product.

He appropriately refers to the vendors as “recommended” and “vendor we nuked.” Here’s how the pitch went down:

Recommended: “Tell me more about what you want to do with it so I can give you an accurate answer.” We did. Then we heard (and saw), “Here’s how you would do that. (Demo). What are some other potential reports you might generate?” We described them, he demonstrated how to do it, we watched, and the conversation continued.

Vendor We Nuked: (In a very deep, officious, voice): “Our platform offers configurable functionality. The back-end capability is state-of-the-art and clients have access to data entry. Of course, it is also designed for maximum security so you never have to be concerned that those without the proper passwords can ever access the information.”

By the time he was finished I expected to hear, “For English, press 2.”

I’m sure that Nuke-boy thought he was impressing us. Actually, he depressed us to the point of boredom. His software could probably do the job. The client didn’t want to have a long-term relationship trying to communicate with someone who responded in buzzwords and platitudes. He wanted someone who would work with him to build a system that could be operated and tweaked by anyone.

It’s easy to slip into jargon-filled talk when explaining your products and services. The problem with using terms that are only understood within your business is that only people within your business understand what your talking about and you confuse customers in the process.

Customers are looking to you to fix their problem and lead them in the right direction. Unless you’re dealing with another professional in your industry, jargon will only work to alienate and irritate your customers.

Today’s Lesson: Speak the customers’ language and avoid jargon in marketing.

Friday business humor: Bypassing sales

When a business deal involves selling $40 million of your product, I guess it’s OK to bypass the sales teams. Especially if your name is Dilbert …

Skipping over sales

Skipping over sales